March 24, 2017 / 8:00 AM / 7 months ago

Sweden's Storytel to enter four new markets

STOCKHOLM, March 24 (Reuters) - Sweden’s Storytel , a provider of a subscription service for e-books and sound books, will expand to Russia, Spain, India and the United Arab Emirates this year, it said on Friday.

** The fast-growing company has struck several deals to buy book publishers recently and currently produces about 2,000 audio books in about ten languages per year, which it says makes it one of the world’s largest producers of audio books.

** Says first up will be Russia, where Storytel goes online this spring.

** Says in the autumn of 2017 Storytel plans to open shop in the Spanish, Indian and Arabic markets.

** Says overseas expansion has been budgeted for during current fiscal year, for which the firm made a secondary stock offering worth 100 million SEK ($11.3 mln) last autumn.

** Storytel is currently present on the Scandinavian, Dutch and Polish markets.

** It said last year it had bought book publisher Norstedts, one of Sweden’s largest, for an enterprise value of 152 mln SEK, and recently bought Danish publisher People’s Press for 97 mln SEK

** Norstedts authors include David Lagercrantz, author of the sequel to Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy

** Storytel shares have surged over the past year, rising almost 300 percent. ($1 = 8.8357 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; editing by Johannes Hellstrom)

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