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Swedish Newspaper to Spin Off Web Site

Leading newspaper Aftonbladet, which launched as one of the first Swedish content sites in 1994, now plans to spin off the service as a separate company.

At the board meeting scheduled for September 23, the management of Aftonbladet AB is expected to suggest that its well-known news site, Aftonbladet.se, be incorporated as a subsidiary.

The new company will be named Aftonbladet Nya Medier AB. The CEO will be Mats Eriksson, who is currently responsible for marketing on the newspaper. The editor-in-chief will be Kalle Jungkvist.

The primary reason for forming a separate company, according to Aftonbladet, is that the Aftonbladet organization will then be able to formulate the successful service's worth. This move could also enable external investment in the site and may allow for an IPO in the spinoff's future.

Aftonbladet AB expects that Aftonbladet.se will move beyond its current leading role among media sites, and hopes to quickly widen the gap between the company and its competitors, according to Gunnar Stromblad, Aftonbladet AB's CEO.

Aftonbladet is simultaneously forming a second subsidiary, Aftonbladet Invest AB, which will draw on products and services from other companies in the Aftonbladet network. These partly-owned companies include Bidlet.se and Jobbdirekt.se. A venture capital company will also be formed to invest in Net and IT companies.

Norwegian media company Schibsted currently owns of Aftonbladet AB.