SPH Magazines in strategic deal with Thai group - Feb 21, 2005 (BT)

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The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

SPH Magazines in strategic deal with Thai group

Feb 21, 2005
The Business Times

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) has struck a strategic partnership with a media group in Thailand in yet another move to become a major magazine publisher in the region.

The Singapore media group said yesterday that wholly owned SPH Magazines will acquire 9 per cent of Traffic Corner Holdings (TCH) and 49 per cent of its subsidiary, Traffic Corner Publishing Company (TCP). The total investment is expected to be about 148.3 million baht (S$6.3 million).

TCH is a diversified media group listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand main board. Besides its interest in TCP, TCH has interests in radio broadcasting, television programming and events.

TCP and its subsidiaries publish a range of Thai language periodicals, mainly in lifestyle and entertainment, including Maya Channel, A Day, MTV Trax and Bangkok Today. 'We have been monitoring the Thai market closely, since our first investment there in 2003. We are excited about the growth potential in Thailand,' said David Tay, chief executive officer of SPH Magazines.

SPH Magazines is the leading magazine publisher in Singapore and, together with subsidiary Blu Inc, publishes more than 60 titles. The latest investments follow the 2004 acquisition of Blu Inc's stable of titles, and the launch of SPH Magazines's flagship title Her World in Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Thailand.

'Our strategy to develop SPH Magazines into a leading regional magazines business is taking shape,' said Arthur Seet, chairman of SPH Magazines. 'Traffic Corner Publishing is a relatively young company with a good management team. We believe that with SPH Magazines' publishing expertise, Traffic Corner Publishing has significant potential,' he said. 'Together with our base in the Singapore market and solid platform in Malaysia, I am excited about the prospects for SPH Magazines.'

Having been in operation for just over a year, TCP has grown to be a publisher of eight publications. Said TCP's chief executive Siriphong Vongvuttipornchai: 'We see many synergies through this partnership with SPH Magazines. Together, we can add value to our existing portfolio to benefit readers and advertisers, as well as further expand our portfolio of titles over time.'