Singapore Press Holdings raises stake in Beerfest Asia

SINGAPORE - Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH's) wholly-owned events subsidiary Sphere Exhibits will be taking up an additional 40 per cent shareholding stake in Beerfest Asia, the company that organises the annual Beerfest Asia event, SPH said on Tuesday.

With this latest investment, Sphere Exhibits will have an 80 per cent stake in the company.

The remaining 20 per cent stake will be held by Edward Chia (13 per cent) and Danny Loong (7 per cent), who are both the co-founders and shareholders of Timbre Group.

The Beerfest Asia event was first launched in 2009 by Timbre Group, with Sphere Exhibits coming in as the co-organiser in the following year.

Timbre is a Singapore-based music and lifestyle company with businesses ranging from food and beverage, concert and festivals promotion and music education.

In 2013, the two parties formed a joint-venture company, Beerfest Asia, to own the trademark and operate the event. Sphere Exhibits owned 40 per cent stake in the joint venture company at the time.

The four-day lifestyle event held in June has grown over the years, and showcases more than 400 kinds of craft and commercial beers from around the world.

Beerfest Asia also features local and international stand-up comedy and live entertainment from tribute music bands.

Last year's Beerfest Asia attracted more than 32,000 visitors to the Marina Promenade over the four days.

Mr Chua Wee Phong, chairman of Sphere Exhibits and executive vice-president of Circulation at SPH said: "This latest investment by Sphere Exhibits in Beerfest Asia is in line with our commitment to expand our food and beverage vertical...Beerfest Asia has been a commercial success in Singapore over the last seven years and offers good growth prospects in the long term.

"With our majority stake, we are well-positioned to grow Beerfest Asia beyond Singapore and reach out to a wider audience."

Mr Edward Chia, managing director and co-founder of Timbre Group, added: "We remain committed to developing the festival to become the premier beer marketplace in Asia and to play a vital role in the rise of Asia's beer industry."