Alma Media to Lease New Tampere Site from City

By: E&P Staff

For Finnish publisher Alma Media’s production-modernization project in Tampere, the company evaluated several locations and decided to negotiate a lease with the city for the property next to its existing plant.

“The location has excellent connections to every direction. In addition, we have extremely professional and committed personnel in Tampere, which also influenced the decision,” Helvi Liukkaala, head of printing and distribution, said in a statement earlier this month.

Citing the size of the investment, challenges of electronic media, current market environment and the country’s adequate press capacity, however, Oy Hertta?ss?, which holds 13.4% of Alma Media shares, earlier this week requested an extraordinary general meeting to review the new-plant project and to decide whether to continue or cancel it.

Architectural firm Petri Pussinen Oy was chosen to design the building, part of as much as $66 million Alma Media said it is prepared to invest in the project. The new facility is expected to be operating in 2013.

The current Tampere plant is the site of a very early keyless-offset press installation — a $30 million order in 1991 for two 40,000-impression-per-hour manroland Colorman A tower presses. The pressmaker did not further pursue anilox-offset press sales, and other manufacturers’ keyless designs were not widely accepted in the market.

Alma Media has two other newspaper plants, in Pori and Rovaniemi. Titles printed in Tampere include Aamulehti, Kauppalehti and the major part of Iltalehti. It also operates Etuovi.com. A profitable, internationally expanding enterprise traded on the Helsinki Exchange, Alma Media posted 2009 net sales of $406.7 million, with an operating margin of 13.5%.

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