Publishing houses Sanoma Magazines International, Gruner + Jahr, and Styria intend to join forces in the Adriatic region

Sanoma Magazines International, part of SanomaWSOY's magazine division Sanoma Magazines, has signed a Letter of Intent with the publishing houses Gruner + Jahr and Styria to establish a partnership for magazine publishing in the Adriatic region.

Presently Sanoma Magazines International publishes magazines in Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro. Gruner + Jahr and Styria have joint operations in Croatia.

Before the partnership is set up, Gruner + Jahr intends to take over all magazine businesses operated by the Hubert Burda Media group in Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia. These businesses will be contributed to the partnership.

The partnership will be embedded into Adria Magazines Holding (AMH), a new joint venture between Sanoma Magazines International and Gruner + Jahr, who will each hold 50% of the shares in AMH. AMH plans to begin its operations in spring 2006. The joint venture and its subsidiaries will employ some 275 people.

Adria Magazines Holding will have local companies in Zagreb (Croatia), Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro), and Ljubljana (Slovenia). Styria will act as a partner of AMH and will hold shares of these local AMH companies (25% in Croatia and Slovenia and 10% in Serbia and Montenegro).

The final agreements to be negotiated between the parties are subject to approval of the Competition Authorities.

- The new partnership opens up considerable growth potential in the Adriatic region. Successful concepts and new content will become available to readers and clients through transfer of expertise, professionalism, and investments from established European publishing companies, the parties commented.

Partnership interests in the local companies after finalisation of the transactions:
Croatia: AMH (Gruner + Jahr and Sanoma Magazines International jointly) 75%, Styria 25%.
Slovenia: AMH (Gruner + Jahr and Sanoma Magazines International jointly) 75%, Styria 25%.
Serbia and Montenegro: AMH (Gruner + Jahr and Sanoma Magazines International jointly) 90%, Styria 10%.

Sanoma Magazines International B.V., located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is a business of Sanoma Magazines, the magazine division of the media group SanomaWSOY (Finland). SanomaWSOY had in 2004 total net sales of EUR 2.49 billion, operating profit of EUR 294 million, and over 16,000 employees. Sanoma Magazines is a leading magazine publisher in Europe. Sanoma Magazines International is responsible for division's activities in Central and South East Europe, Russia, and Ukraine. In total, Sanoma Magazines publishes over 280 magazines in 12 European countries. Its 2004 net sales totalled EUR 1.08 billion and it employs approximately 5,500 people.

The Gruner + Jahr AG printing and publishing company is Europe's biggest magazine publisher. Its more than 12,500 employees in over 20 countries on three continents publish more than 265 magazines and newspapers, as well as the accompanying online sites. G+J also owns a 37.45% stake in PRINOVIS Ltd. & Co. KG, Europe's biggest gravure group. G+J?s revenues in 2004 were EUR 2.44 billion. International revenues account for 62%, making G+J one of the world's most international publishing companies. Bertelsmann AG owns 74.9% of the company; the Jahr publishing family, Hamburg, owns 25.1%.

Styria Medien AG is the third largest media company in Austria with net revenues of EUR 392 million (2004) and approximately 2,400 employees. Styria publishes 6 dailies, 14 weeklies, and 26 magazines. It owns radio stations, TV networks, book publishing companies, and service providers (printing plants, IT, Agencies, Accounting etc.). At present Styria operates in Austria, Croatia, and Slovenia.