SPH unit sells 20% stake in Net venture (ST)

BackJun 19, 2009

Upon completion, SPH Interactive International will hold a 55 per cent stake.


SPH Interactive International has sold a 20 per cent stake in China online directory search service provider, 701Sou, to Star Publications (Malaysia) for $5 million.

The deal is expected to be completed within the next two weeks, said a statement yesterday from parent company Singapore Press Holdings.

Upon completion, SPH Interactive International will hold a 55 per cent stake.

Apart from Star Publications, other shareholders are Fung Choi Printing with a 15 per cent stake and SPH's 50-50 joint-venture company 701Search with a 10 per cent share.

The signing ceremony took place yesterday at SPH News Centre between SPH chief executive Alan Chan and Star Publications executive deputy chairman Clement Hii, and ended with a champagne popping session.

This is the second time SPH Interactive International has formed an alliance with Star Publications.

In April last year, it entered into a joint venture with the Malaysian publisher to provide online directory search services in Malaysia via 701Panduan.

Launched in China last November, is attracting an average monthly visitor rate of six million and a return visitor rate in excess of 28per cent.

'Like 701Panduan, 701Sou too has surpassed the top two local providers, namely Locoso, owned by China Telecom, and ChinaBig, owned by China Unicom, in terms of site visits and reach,' said Mr Chan.

Dato' Hii said the new venture 'has provided us with new challenges in the new media'.