The purchase of shares and loans from Apax Funds and the Swiss investors will correspond to an investment of 50 to 55 million, depending on the final details regarding participation by the investors in loans and further financing. The Swiss investors will have until the end of March to decide on further participation.
20 Min Holding will during the two coming months fulfil its option obligations on approx. 30% of the shares in Multiprensa Holding SL, which is the parent company of the Spanish operations. This implies an investment of approx. 7.5 million, which will be financed by Schibsted.
Following these transactions, 20 Min Holding AG will own 100% of the Spanish operations, 50.5% of the Swiss operations, and 16% of the French operations. Schibsted currently owns 34% of the French operations directly, giving Schibsted a total control of 50% of the French operations.
20 Min Holding has earlier entered into an agreement whereby it will sell its 50.5% stake in the Swiss operations to Express Zeitung AG, with final payment coming due in Q1-2007. The payment depends on the results in 2005 and 2006. Today’s agreement with the other shareholders at 20 Min Holding AG has no impact on this transaction.
20 Min is currently published in 11 cities in Europe: Zurich, Bern, and Basle in Switzerland; Paris, Lille, Lyon, and Marseille in France; Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Zaragoza in Spain. Further launches in Spain will be considered. The total daily circulation is 1.6 million (330’000 in Switzerland, 590’000 in Spain and 675’000 in France), and the number of readers was approx. 3.5 million at the end of last year, making 20 Min the 6th largest newspaper in Europe.
Proforma consolidated revenues of all 20 Min operations (100% of the operations in all three countries) were approx. 56 million (an increase of 21 million from 2002). EBITDA was negative 11 million (a reduction of 17 million from the previous year). The increase in operating revenues from the first two months of 2003 to the first two months of 2004 was between 57% and 70% in the three countries. The operations in Switzerland and Spain are currently running with an operating profit, whereas the operations in Paris are expected to report an operating profit towards the end of the year. Three new editions with a total circulation of 225,000 copies were launched in France in late February.
For further information:
Sverre Munck, telephone +47 2310 6600 or +47 9168 6699
Birger Magnus, telephone +47 2310 6600
Oslo, 3 March 2004
VP Investor Relations
VP Investor Relations
20 Min Circulation and readership
Circulation March 2004
Readership end 2003