Finnish media company Sanoma is selling its stake in Sanoma Bliasak Bulgaria to its joint venture partner, the Drumev family. The transaction marks the departure of Sanoma from the Bulgarian market. The divestment is in line with Sanoma's strategy to focus its operations and divest selected ownerships, the company said in a statement posted on its website.
Sanoma Bliasak's portfolio includes seven licence and five Bulgarian magazines, among which Cosmopolitan, National Geographic and Harper's Bazaar, as well as websites and a book publishing programme. The company plans to keep all of its products, CEO Dimitar Drumev said.
Sanoma Bliasak posted a 112,000 loss for 2012, compared with a negative financial result of 454,000 for 2011. Given the shrinking advertising market in Bulgaria, though, the exit of the Finnish company seems logical. Earlier this year it sold its online business, Netinfo, to Bulgaria's Darik News.
The Finnish company is not the first foreign investor in the media sector to have withdrawn from Bulgaria in the past few years. In late 2010 the publisher of the Trud and 24 Chasa dailies, Germany's WAZ, also quit the market. In 2011 Sweden's Bonnier sold the Pari daily to Economedia (publisher of the Capital and the Dnevnik). Another large investor, ProSieben, sold its SBS radio stations later the same year.
Read more in Bulgarian here.