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Ratos Buys Sanoma Cinema Biz

Swedish private equity firm Ratos will buy the cinema business of Finnish media group Sanoma in a deal valued at 116 million euro ($164.4 million), Reuters reported. The deal is subject to authority approvals in Finland and Latvia, Reuters wrote.

(Reuters) – Finnish media group Sanoma agreed to sell its cinema business to Swedish private equity firm Ratos as it sheds non-core assets, the company said on Monday.

The enterprise value of the deal, including all Finnkino cinemas in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, is 116 million euros ($164.4 million), and Sanoma will book a gain of 50 million euros in its April-June result, it said.

Due to the deal, Sanoma cuts its outlook for 2011. It sees its net sales and underlying operating profit to decrease slightly this year. Earlier the company expected them to be at last year’s level.

“The media landscape is rapidly changing. To be able to respond to these changes and to win in the new marketplace, we will increase focus on consumer as well as business-to-business media and learning solutions,” Harri-Pekka Kaukonen, Chief Executive Officer of Sanoma said in a statement.

Last year, Finnkino’s net sales stood at 88.6 million euros, with operating profit at 8.4 million euros. It employs some 620 people.

The deal is subject to authority approvals in Finland and Latvia.

Sanoma shares were up 1.5 percent at 1225 GMT.

($1=.7056 Euro)

(Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)