Rautakirja acquires press distribution company in Lithuania

Rautakirja, a division of SanomaWSOY Group, has acquired a 51% majority holding in the Lithuanian press distribution company UAB Impress Teva. Impress Teva's press distribution activities extend across Lithuania. The slightly over ten years old company delivers newspapers and magazines to more than 1,300 points of sale and is one of the most significant press distribution companies in Lithuania. Its customers include the majority of the country's leading newspaper and magazine publishers. Impress Teva had net sales of EUR 8.4 million in 2003. The acquisition is subject to the approval of the Lithuanian competition authorities.

The members of the family selling the company will continue in the employ of Impress Teva and will remain as minority shareholders in the company, with Terese Morkuniene serving as Managing Director.

- This is a further element in our Baltic strategy and a natural direction for expansion, since we are involved in the distribution of domestic and foreign newspaper and magazine titles in the Finnish market and also in Estonia and Latvia, and are also embarking on similar operations in Romania. We have at our disposal a strong tradition of know-how in the press distribution and newsstand sales branch, which we can utilise in Europe's fast-growing new economies, comments Rautakirja's Raimo Kurri, Senior Vice President, Press Distribution. This particular area of business is one of the internationalised businesses of SanomaWSOY.

Impress Teva currently employs 106 persons, who will transfer into the service of Rautakirja as established employees. The company is based in Vilnius.

Rautakirja has had strong international expansion in recent years. Alongside its press distribution operations, Rautakirja is active in the kiosk trade in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and the Czech Republic, and carries on movie theatre operations in Finland and across the Baltic Countries, bookstore operations in Finland and Estonia, and restaurant and highway service area activities in the Finnish market.