SPH – BT

SPH, Star Publications in JV

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH), through SPH Interactive International Pte Ltd (SPH II), has forged a joint venture (JV) with Star Publications (Malaysia) to provide digital media services in Malaysia.

The JV is called 701Panduan Sdn Bhd. In Malay, panduan means to provide direction or guidance, which is what 701Panduan aims to do by helping consumers find what they need on new media platforms.

The authorised and paid-up capital of 701Panduan is RM60 million (S$26 million), with SPH II and Star Publications each holding 50 per cent.

The deal was signed yesterday at the headquarters of Star Publications in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Star Publications publishes The Star, Malaysia’s most widely read English daily.

Leslie Fong, a director of SPH II and SPH’s senior executive vice-president of marketing, said: ‘Malaysia has one of the highest Internet penetration rates in South-east Asia. More than half of its 28 million people enjoy ready access to the Internet. In absolute numbers, this is more than Singapore’s entire population. Together with the country’s growing economy, this makes investing in the online business an attractive proposition.’

Mr Fong said that The Star is a top partner with a strong brand name and an established network of readers and advertisers.

Star chief operating officer Linda Ngiam said: ‘The Star has spent more than 12 years establishing a leadership position on the Malaysian Internet scene. We are happy to enter into this partnership with SPH, which will take our online and new media properties to the next level.’

SPH said that the transaction will have no material impact on its earnings and net assets per share for the financial year ending Aug 31, 2008.

SPH shares closed unchanged at $4.62 yesterday.

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