SPH Interactive International Pte Ltd (SPHII), a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings Limited, will sell a 20% stake in its online directory search services 701Sou (in Hong Kong) to Malaysian group Star Publications Berhad. The sale represents a transaction of 5,000,000 Singapore dollars (2.5 millions euros)
Home page of search service 701Sou, available in Chinese and English
The deal is based on a “willing-buyer willing-seller basis” between two companies that are increasing their cooperation. In April last year, SPHII entered into a joint venture with Star Publications in the area of online directory search services in Malaysia through the launch of 701Panduan in March 2009. Like 701Sou in China, the 701Panduan.com search platform has grown to be a popular site with local users. The site averages a monthly visitor rate of 1 million and a return visitor rate of 30%, surpassing the top three providers in Malaysian in terms of site visits and reach.
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%. Singapore Press Holdings Limited 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. Third shareholder is Fung Choi Printing Limited's with a 15 per cent.
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia’s leading media
organisation. It publishes 17 newspaper titles in four languages and over 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region. SPH’s other new media initiatives include AsiaOne, omy, rednano.sg, ST701, STOMP and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH has also ventured into broadcasting, outdoor advertising and properties.
Star Publications Berhad in Malaysia has grown from print to multimedia, providing news and content via the mobile phone, Internet, radio and print media. Launched as a regional newspaper in 1971, its flagship publication, the daily newspaper The Star, is today the leading English daily with a readership of over a million daily. 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.