20 Min Holding AG (owned 41% by Schibsted ASA) has entered into an agreement with Express Zeitung AG, which is owned by Tamedia (82,5%) and Berner Zeitung (17,5%), about a cooperation and sale of the operation in Switzerland. On the assumption that the Swiss competition authorities accepts the agreement 49,5% of the shares in the company 20 Minuten (Schweiz) AG will in the first round be taken over by Ekspress Zeitung AG.
The agreement further assumes that Ekspress Zeitung AG takes over the remaining 50,5% in a two step process within Q1 2007, the price will be based on development of sales and results. Until this the company will be operated as before as a part of the 20 Minutes group and management control will remain in 20 Min Holding.
Sale of 49,5% of the shares to Tamedia is not expected to give substantial effect on Schibsted ASA’s financial statements.
20 Minuten (Schweiz) AG publishes the newspaper “20 Minuten” with a total circulation in Zürich, Bern and Basel of 320,000 copies. According to the latest readership survey the newspaper has 526,000 daily readers, which makes it the third largest in Switzerland. Tamedia is Switzerland’s leading media company and publishes among other the morning newspaper “Tages Anzeiger” which is the second largest newspaper in Switzerland following the tabloid Blick. Berner Zeitung is the dominating newspaper in Bern.
The partnership in Switzerland is a final confirmation of 20 Minuten’s breakthrough in the Swiss market. By entering into such a partnership the newspaper will have ideal conditions to further develop and continue to strengthen its position.
Oslo, March 24th 2003
Elisabeth Blom Tindlund
Investor Relations Officer