Singapore, 18 June 2009 – Singapore Press Holdings Limited ("SPH") through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH Interactive International Pte Ltd (“SPHII”), has entered into an agreement with Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad (“Star Publications”) for the sale of a 20% stake in 701Sou (Hong Kong) Pte Limited (“701Sou”) for a consideration of S$5,000,000. The consideration was arrived at on a willing-buyer willing-seller basis.
701Sou provides online directory search services in China through its website 701Sou.com. Launched in November 2008, the site has attracted a monthly visitor rate of 6 million and a return visitor rate in excess of 28%. 701Sou has since surpassed the top two providers in China based on third party ranking by Alexa in terms of site visits and reach.
On completion of this transaction, which is expected to take place within the next 14 days, SPHII will remain the major shareholder with a 55% direct stake and an indirect stake of 5% through its 50-50 joint venture company, 701Search Pte Ltd, which owns 10% of 701Sou. Fung Choi Printing Limited's share is 15 per cent.
To mark the new partnership, a signing ceremony was held on 18 June 2009 at SPH News Centre between Mr Alan Chan, CEO of SPH, and Dato’ Clement Hii, Executive Deputy Chairman of Star Publications.
This is the second time SPHII has formed an alliance with Star Publications. In April last year, SPHII entered into a joint venture with Star Publications for the provision of online directory search services in Malaysia through 701Panduan. Like 701Sou, 701Panduan.com has also grown to be a popular site with local users. Launched since March this year, the site averages a monthly visitor rate of 1 million and a return visitor rate of 30%, in-turn surpassing the top three providers in Malaysian in terms of site visits and reach.
Mr Alan Chan said: “Following 701Panduan, we are confident that the synergistic partnership between SPH and Star Publications will continue to contribute to the success of 701Sou. We look forward to more future collaborations between the two media powerhouses.”
“Star Publications is very pleased that SPHII has invited us onboard as partners in 701Sou – a venture that they have already successfully launched in China," said Datuk Clement Hii. "This is indeed something very rare in a business relationship. It shows our partnership has progressed to a higher level as a result of our working together in 701Panduan, our joint venture business in Malaysia.”
The transaction has no material impact on the earnings per share or the net assets per share of SPH for the financial year ending 31 August 2009.
Mr Willie Cheng, a Director of SPH, is also a Director of SPHII. Except as disclosed herein, none of the Directors of SPH has any interest, direct or indirect, in the transaction.
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms. It publishes 17 newspaper titles in four languages and over 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region. Every day, 2.9 million individuals or 79 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH’s internet editions of its major newspapers enjoy over 150 million page views with 9 million unique visitors each month. Other new media initiatives include AsiaOne, omy, rednano.sg, ST701, STOMP and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH has
also ventured into broadcasting, oudoor advertising and properties.
For more information, please visit www.sph.com.sg
About Star Publications
The Star has grown from print to multimedia providing news and content via the mobile phone, internet, radio and print media. Started as a regional newspaper in 1971, The Star is today the leading English daily with a readership of over a million daily. As a leading media organisation that has undergone many changes, its core objective remains the same - to provide fast, accurate and credible news, views and information.
Star media group’s new media platforms consist of mobile (SMS News Alert and mobile news), The Star Online (3G and video streaming), radio and radio online, as well as print and periodicals. Star media group will continue to embrace new technology and keep to its commitment of informing, educating and entertaining the readers.
For more information, log on to starinvestorrelations.com.