Sanoma Corporation has today increased its holding in Kymen Lehtimedia Oy to 100 %, after Maakuntien Viestintä Oy, Suomen Viestintärahoitus Oy and Eteenpäin Osakeyhtiö had expressed their desire to sell their holdings. Kymen Lehtimedia Group's net sales amounted to FIM 489 million in 1998 and its operating profit was FIM 68 million. As an investment, Kymen Lehtimedia Oy is an attractive company operating in Sanoma Corporation's core industry.

Kymen Lehtimedia operates in the Southeast of Finland as newspaper publisher and publishes e.g. Kymen Sanomat, Kouvolan Sanomat and Etelä-Saimaa. In addition, the Group owns seven local papers, one free distribution paper and three printing plants, as well as early morning newspaper distribution. Russian exports accounted for FIM 225 million of its total net sales in 1998.

Kymen Lehtimedia's managing director Antti Mäkelä sees the role of Sanoma Corporation as the sole shareholder as a natural sequel to long-term co-operation.

The Office of Free Competition has estimated on the basis of material forwarded beforehand that the transaction does not involve transfer of control in the meaning of competitive legislation.

WSOY, Sanoma Corporation, Helsinki Media as well as Oy Devarda Ab which is a shareholder in the two last-mentioned companies, will merge on 1 May 1999 to form Sanoma-WSOY Oyj.

A separate news release will be published about the transaction.

Additional information: Mr. Martti Ojares, Executive Vice President; tel. +358 9 122 4750, or +358 40 522 7988.


Martti Ojares
Executive Vice President


Aarno Heinonen
Executive Vice President

Distribution: HEX Helsinki Stock Exchange; principal media