20 Min Holding AG, a 100% owned subsidiary of Schibsted ASA, has sold its 50.5% ownership in 20 Minuten (Schweiz) AG to Express Zeitung AG, a subsidiary of tamedia. Express Zeitung has owned 49.5% of the shares since September 2003, and was due to acquire the remaining 50.5% of the shares in two tranches by the end of 2006. The current agreement entails an acceleration of the final sale.
During the last 2 years 20 Minuten has developed into being the largest newspaper in Switzerland. 20 Min Holding and tamedia have had a fruitful cooperation as owners, and have jointly developed the business plan for the coming years. The early conclusion of the sale allows for the continuing strategic development of 20 Minuten.
Schibsted will focus on further developing the 20 minutes concept in Spain and France, where the newspaper is firmly established as the leading free commuter paper. 20 Minuten (Schweiz) will participate in this development through exchange of experience and know-how. Tamedia and Schibsted have agreed to study other projects jointly.
20 Minuten (Schweiz) had revenues of more than CHF 60 million in 2004, with a positive result.
The parties have agreed to keep the terms of the agreement confidential. The effect on Schibsted's result in Q1 2005 is expected to be a gain of approx. NOK 200 million.
For further information please contact: Sverre Munck, tel + 47 9168 6699
Oslo, 24 January 2005
Elisabeth Blom Tindlund
Investor Relations Officer