SanomaWSOY's electronic media sector, SWelcom, has increased its holding in Channel Four Finland (Oy Ruutunelonen Ab) by acquiring an additional 5.02% of the company's shares from TS-Yhtymä.

In an associated development designed to rationalise SWelcom's structure, Oy Suomen Medianelonen Ab, a TV advertising time sales company jointly owned by SWelcom and TS-Yhtymä, is to become a subsidiary of Oy Ruutunelonen Ab. The latter has acquired Suomen Medianelonen's shares through a share swap, following which SWelcom owns 90.55% of Channel Four and TS-Yhtymä 9.45%.

Finland's fourth national television channel, Channel Four began broadcasting in June 1997, since when it has rapidly built a strong market position. Channel Four recorded net sales totalling FIM 212 million during the first three quarters of 2000, an increase of 55% on the equivalent period in 1999. Channel Four recorded net sales of FIM 200 million for 1999 as a whole. Channel Four's operating licence for analogue broadcasting runs until the end of 2006 and its digital-TV operating licence until August 31, 2010.

Channel Four is part of SWelcom, SanomaWSOY's electronic media sector, which became an independent legal entity within the SanomaWSOY Group on October 1 this year. SWelcom's portfolio also includes the cable-TV, pay-TV, and Internet service provider Helsinki Television; digital-TV activities; the 2ndhead mobile portal; Verkkovoima, a provider of Internet solutions; SanomaWSOY's Virtual Portal project; Tuotantotalo Werne, a video and audio services provider; and the video duplication and CD producer, Måndag;

SWelcom's President Tapio Kallioja is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Channel Four and the CEO of TS-Yhtymä, Keijo Ketonen, serves as Vice Chairman.