AS Ekspress Grupp merges two companies and creates a new book publishing company 27.04

AS Ekspress Grupp has decided to merge the companies Eesti Päevalehe AS and AS Eesti Ajalehed. The merger will create a company that publishes three newspapers: Eesti Päevaleht,Eesti Ekspress and Maaleht. Simultaneously with the merger of the two companies, a new book publishing company will be created as a subsidiary of AS Eesti Ajalehed. This new company will unite all the current book publishing activities undertaken under the Eesti EkspressMaaleht and Eesti Päevaleht brands.

The creation of the new book publishing business will begin immediately, whereas the merger of Eesti Päevalehe AS and AS Eesti Ajalehed will be finalised by autumn this year.

As part of the merger, Ekspress Grupp will develop a shared multimedia newsroom. This newsroom will comprise the editorial teams of all the companies wholly owned by Ekspress Grupp. This means that the newsroom will accommodate the editorial teams of Delfi, Eesti EkspressEesti Päevaleht and Maaleht, as well as the monthlies published by these newspapers. By the beginning of summer, the editorial teams of all products will relocate to shared premises – the former Eesti Päevaleht offices at Narva mnt 13. All the editorial teams will continue to function as independent units run by the respective editor-in-chief. Structurally, the newspaper editorial teams will work under the company AS Eesti Ajalehed, and the Delfi editorial team will remain under the company AS Delfi. The support functions of all press products will be moved to the former premises of the newspapers Eesti Ekspress and Maaleht(at Narva mnt 11e). AS Delfi will vacate its current office premises in Rävala Street.

Also, a separate financial unit will be established on the basis of the aforementioned companies. This unit will be a part of the group’s parent company, and will provide financial services to the group’s subsidiaries. The current financial directors and/or chief accountants in the companies will remain in position as members of the company’s management team.

The goal of the planned changes is to optimise the operation of the support functions in newspaper publishing; to concentrate the full content creation competence of Ekspress Grupp in a single place; and, based on the resulting improved information flow and increased capacity, to create new opportunities for the production of high-quality content for various new media channels, including the internet and digital television. The shared newsroom will offer the necessary conditions for providing the editorial teams with better technical facilities (both in terms of software and hardware), which in turn will improve the journalists’ time management and will boost the development of the content quality of Ekspress Grupp’s products. As for the support functions, the circulation, customer service, marketing, advertising and technical support units will be joined into one. As the units have so far been parts of different structures, this restructuring will allow them to offer a better service to shared customers, both in the fields of newspaper distribution and ad sales.

With the creation of the book publishing company, Ekspress Grupp will concentrate all of its book publishing know-how into a single organisation, which will help to increase competitiveness without losing the support of the group’s various media brands. Based on the number of books published in 2010, this new company would be the third largest book publisher on the Estonian market.

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