In a deal signed today, Suomalainen Kirjakauppa has acquired the newspaper and magazine subscription operations run by the Academic Bookstore chain, owned by the Stockmann department stores. The commercial operations will pass into Suomalainen Kirjakauppa’s hands from June 1, 2003, when they will become a part of Suomalainen Kirjakauppa’s direct sales unit.

The 2002 net sales of the newly-acquired operations came close to EUR 13 million. The Academic Bookstore operations employ a total of fourteen persons, who will transfer into the service of Suomalainen Kirjakauppa with immediate effect. Volume attained with the dela will enhance stronger investments in developing the operations. The acquisition is in line with the Group’s strategy of strengthening the chain of trade in newspapers and periodicals from publishing to retail distribution and sales.

Suomalainen Kirjakauppa recorded net sales in 2002 of EUR 111.3 million, and the company has 58 bookstore outlets trading under the Suomalainen Kirjakauppa banner, two Reader’s paperback stores, a further four stores belonging to Yliopistokirjakauppa and located in or adjacent to colleges and universities, and a subsidiary in Estonia. The store network is backed up by an online portal and store at Suomalainen Kirjakauppa is part of the Rautakirja Group, which is in turn a division of SanomaWSOY Group.