SPH completes takeover of financial portal

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) has completed the acquisition of financial portal Shareinvestor.com to broaden its online media play.

SPH, which publishes The Business Times among other publications, will pay up to $18 million for Shareinvestor.com.

An amount of $12 million is payable to the portal’s owners upon completion of the transaction. The remainder will be paid in two equal instalments in 2009 and 2010 if Shareinvestor.com meets its financial targets.

Local magazine publisher Lexicon Group owned 27.7 per cent of Shareinvestor.com. The other owners were individuals, including company founder and chairman Michael Leong, CEO Christopher Lee and IT director Lim Dau Hee.

‘SPH will retain the entire management and staff of Shareinvestor.com,’ SPH said yesterday, adding that the portal would continue to operate independently. Mr Leong has been appointed a consultant and director to the company. Mr Lee and Mr Lim will retain their current positions.

The purchase, made through SPH’s wholly owned unit, SPH Interactive, will give the publishing giant a ready foothold in the growing market for online financial tools and applications. Shareinvestor.com has more than 350 institutional and retail investor clients.

‘The acquisition will enable SPH to provide online financial services as part of its growing portfolio of Internet services, with substantial synergies to be derived with various SPH online entities, in particular The Business Times and its website businesstimes.com,’ SPH said.

In addition, the buyout also will strengthen SPH’s portfolio of other Internet offerings. This is because Shareinvestor.com has an established investor relations network in Asia and also offers other value-added services such as corporate website design and technology solutions.

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