Sonera to Spin off Portal, Sell Financial Services

LONDON (03/29/2000) - Finland-based telecommunications company Sonera Corp. said today that it will incorporate its network-independent Sonera Plaza business, with the intention of listing the company on the stock exchange either this year or next.

Sonera Plaza, the company's Internet portal which currently has 410,000 users per week, will join the Netherlands site, with 60,000 users of its own, to form another company, Sonera said in a statement.

By spinning off the portal business, the company hopes it can become a major international service portal that develops and offers entertainment, transactions, commerce and financial services, it said in the statement.

Sonera said that a special emphasis will be placed on the new company to offer financial services. Sonera is planning to enter negotiations with Finnish bank Sampo-Leonia for cooperation related to offering financial services.

In the future, customers will be able to access Sonera Plaza's services over wireless terminals, as well as fixed network equipment such as digital television, because of a close relationship with the Sonera Mobile Services unit, Sonera SmartTrust and Sonera Zed.

Leonia's Former President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Harri Hollmen will be CEO of the new company beginning April 10. He will answer to the Sonera's Deputy CEO Kaj-Erik Relander.

Sonera Corporation, in Helsinki, Finland can be reached at +358-20401 or at http://www.sonera.com/.

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