SPH Takes Over Four Fairs, Including Comex, IT Show (ST)

BackJun 12, 2010

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) has agreed to buy the exhibitions business and assets of Eastern Directories, a subsidiary of publishing and property firm Eastern Holdings.

The $43.5 million acquisition means that SPH's subsidiary, Sphere Exhibits, will acquire four technology and food and beverage fairs: Comex, IT Show, World Food Fair and Food and Beverage Fair.

Comex and IT Show are among the more popular consumer electronics fairs in Singapore. The previous Comex, held last September, attracted 710,000 visitors who spent $63 million in all, while the IT Show in March drew 807,000 people and raked in $67.5 million in purchases.

The deal will allow SPH to expand its growing portfolio of exhibition businesses, the media company said in an announcement to the Singapore Exchange yesterday.

"Eastern Directories is a strong player in the consumer events and exhibitions industry, and has popular signature events that will enable Sphere to enhance its growing portfolio of exhibitions and events," it said.

Under Sphere, SPH runs other exhibitions in Singapore including the recent Licence2Play gaming fair.

SPH had signed a non-binding letter of intent with Eastern Directories for the same acquisition almost three years ago, in September 2007, but it dropped the plan in December that year.

It will use its internal resources to fund the proposed purchase, which is not expected to have any material impact on the company's net tangible assets per share or earnings per share for the current financial year ending Aug 31.

SPH shares closed up one cent at $3.74 yesterday.