Finland's Sanoma buys Spanish educational publisher Santillana

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Finland’s Sanoma has agreed to acquire learning materials provider Santillana Spain from Spanish publisher Promotora de Informaciones for 465 million euros ($544 million), it said on Monday.

Prior to the deal, the Finnish consumer media and educational group was operating in 11 European countries, including Spain.

“With this acquisition, Sanoma significantly expands its position in the Spanish K-12 learning services market, which is one of the largest in Europe,” it said in a statement.

Sanoma said it expected to finalise the acquisition during the first half of 2021 and valued the Spanish publisher at around 9 times last-year’s core earnings.

“This acquisition is a strong next step in Sanoma’s strategic transformation into a growing European learning company and a leading cross-media company in Finland,” Sanoma’s chief executive Susan Duinhoven said.

In July, Sanoma divested its Finnish online classifieds business, Oikotie, to Norway’s Schibsted in a deal which valued the business at 185 million euros ($211 million), saying it planned to use the proceeds for additional acquisitions in the education sector.

$1 = 0.8542 euros Reporting by Anne Kauranen