Introduction

Christopher Ístlund is the publishing editor for Plaza Publishing Group and its six companies. As main owner and founder, he is behind the launch of more than 18 magazines. These titles are sold in more than 48 countries, in 5 different languages. Christopher was the first Swede to launch a Swedish magazine internationally outside of Scandinavia. The international Plaza Magazine, written in English, has been published six times a year since 2002. The same year Plaza was launched in the USA, and the German Plaza followed in 2003. In 2006, an exciting investment was made in the Middle East. The magazine is written in Arabic and is read from right to left, as is the custom in the Arabic world. Other than that, the group has launched several titles in Finland. Interior decorating magazine Plaza Koti was a success from the start and was followed by yet another monthly magazine; Oma Koti Kullan Kallis, these being two of Finland biggest interior decorating magazines today. Gourmet magazine, founded in 1979, was acquired in 2006. Considering the numbers, Christopher has probably launched more magazines than any other Swede. Other than publishing, Christopher is active in several areas. For a number of years, Plaza Publishing Group has been one of Sweden's largest retailers of DVDs. In 2002 he coined the idea of attaching a DVD movie on the cover - this has turned out to be a successful concept, copied by several other magazines today. Also worth mentioning is his investment in music and advertising. Plaza Publishing Group owns the largest share of Heartbeats International, a company which is active in Stockholm, New York and Tokyo. He is also owner of several companies like TV7 Stockholm AB, Lotsatorgruppen i Sverige AB and Station 5 AB. All of the companies in the sphere are unmortgaged and a have a large cash capital. The companies have been named several times by Dagens industri as a 'Gasell company', of which a few hundred Swedish companies are named each year. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, Plaza Publishing Group was one of Sweden's fastest growing companies. In 2006 and 2007, Station 5 was also on the 'Gasell business' list, this being quite unique to have two companies in the list. Several of the companies, including Station 5 AB, hold a so-called AAA (Dun & Bradstreet) credit grade, which is the highest rating you can achieve in Sweden.