Schibsted acquires 35% of Metro Sweden and closes down Punkt SE

Schibsted ASA (SCH) , Published 19/05/2008 08:00:00

Schibsted has today entered into an agreement to acquire 35% of the shares in Metro Sweden for a consideration of SEK 350 million.
Aftonbladet and Metro Sweden are to form a company which will collaborate within advertisement sales. Through this company Aftonbladet and Metro will be able to provide one of Sweden’s most comprehensive advertisement offers measured by reach, with 4.2 million readers (source: Orvesto 2007:3, four insertions). Svenska Dagbladet will take part in a local advertisement collaboration in Stockholm, as well as a collaboration for entertainment advertisements. Schibsted’s calculations indicate that the joint efforts will create revenue synergies for Svenska Dagbladet and Aftonbladet amounting to SEK 40-50 million after 2-3 years.
Schibsted will get two seats in Metro Sweden’s board of directors, and has through a shareholder’s agreement secured satisfactory minority protection in Metro Sweden.
The agreement is conditional to approval by Swedish competition authorities. The parties will shortly notify Konkurrensverket of the agreement.
Metro Sweden had in Q1 2008 revenues of EUR 17.5 million. The operating result was EUR 1.5 million. I 2007 as a whole, the revenues amounted to EUR 76.8 million. The operating result was EUR -1.6 million. Adjusted for a one off provision in connection with advertising tax regarding the period from 2001 to 2007, the operating result was approx EUR 6 million.
Aftonbladet has decided to close down Punkt SE. Last edition is published Monday 19 May 2008.
In Q1 2008, Punkt SE burdened the EBITA of Schibsted with the amount of NOK 37 million (SEK 44 mill.). In 2007 as a whole, the negative contribution was NOK 172 million (SEK 198 mill.). The cost related to the closing down of Punkt SE has been calculated to SEK 65 million.
Schibsted invites to a teleconference for analysts on Monday 19 May at 13.00 CET. Participants are CFO Trond Berger and EVP for Sweden, Gunnar Strömblad. Call in details will be published in a separate release shortly.
Contact persons:
Gunnar Strömblad, EVP for Sweden, tel: +46 705 252104
Trond Berger, CFO, tel: +47 91 68 66 95
Oslo, 19 May 2008
Jo Christian Steigedal, IR Officer