Competition Authority Approves Õhtuleht Sale to Ekspress Grupp
The Competition Authority has green-lighted Ekspress Grupp's right to purchase previously co-owned daily Õhtuleht and two other companies after a management buyout of the second owner.
The media group will purchase the three companies, then sell them to recently set up Suits Meedia.
Õhtuleht, magazine publisher Ajakirjade Kirjastus and mail service Express Post were co-owned by Ekspress Grupp and the Norwegian media group Schibsted, which also owns Postimees, but the management buyout of Schibsted's Estonian branch triggered a clause of first right of refusal.
Meelis Mandel of Äripäev said in October that the sale of Õhtuleht revolves around printing profits, as it is currently printed in a printing house owned by Eesti Meedia, the new owners of Postimees, but that operation could be transferred to a printing house owned by Ekspress Group.
Õhtuleht makes an annual profit of around 300,000 to 400,000 euros, Mandel said, adding that potential profits from printing the daily were just as big a reason for the purchase.