WSOY, part of the SanomaWSOY Group, will sell the Ajasto diary business to the investment company Viola Capital Oy and Ajasto's acting management. The deal will be effective as of 30 September 2005, and cover the whole Ajasto: Ajasto Osakeyhtiö in Finland, Almanacksförlaget AB in Sweden, Emil Moestue AS in Norway, and a 30% share of OÜ Büroodisain in Estonia. In 2004, net sales in diaries amounted to EUR 30.3 million, and operating profit reached EUR 0.6 million. The deal is expected to improve WSOY's operating profit in 2005 by about EUR 6 million compared to the previous year.
- WSOY's long-term strategy is to focus on publishing in the Nordic region, and particularly in educational business in Europe. This deal is a natural part of our strategy, says Jorma Kaimio, President of WSOY.
The 215 employees with a non-fixed term contract with the Ajasto diaries at the time of the deal will continue under their current conditions. Yrjö Franssila will continue as President of Ajasto Osakeyhtiö.
After the deal, WSOY will have three businesses: the company is the leading publisher in Finland, a major educational publisher in Europe, and one of the leading book printers in the Nordic region. WSOY's educational business has gone through a process of strong growth and international expansion during the past year, and the aim is to continue with profitable growth also in the future.
Besides Finland, WSOY has educational business in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Poland, and other publishing business in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
Viola Capital is a Finnish investment company with a focus on small and medium-size enterprises in the Nordic region and Eastern Europe. The operational principles include development of the target company by a long-term ownership strategy, and realisation of value primarily through the target company's income formation.
Jorma Kaimio, President, WSOY, tel. +358 400 50 67 51 (on 30 Sept. after 3 p.m.)
Yrjö Franssila, President, Ajasto Osakeyhtiö, tel. +358 400 415 214
Antti Henriksson, Partner, Viola Capital Oy, tel. +358 40 501 0182
The Ajasto diary group is the leading time management company in the Nordic region. Ajasto Osakeyhtiö is the largest diary publisher in Finland, and the distributor of Filofax and Letts diaries, Casio calculators, and Zebra pens. Almanacksförlaget, Emil Moestue, and OÜ Büroodisain are the leading diary publishers in their countries of operation.
Senior Vice President
Finance and Administration
Helsinki Stock Exchange