SPH sells one-third stake in 701Search

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is selling its one-third stake in 701Search to Norwegian telecommunications operator Telenor for about US$109 million (S$153 million), the firm said yesterday.

701Search was established in 2006 with SPH Interactive International (SPHI) and Norway's Schibsted Classified Media as equal partners.

It welcomed Telenor as an equal partner in 2013 and currently operates the online classified sites Chotot.vn in Vietnam, OneKyat.com in Myanmar, Mudah.my in Malaysia and ImSold, an online classifieds mobile app.

Norway's Schibsted will also sell its stake to Telenor, said SPH in a filing with the Singapore Exchange.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other relevant approvals and conditions. Upon closing, 701Search will cease to be an associate company of SPH.

  • $153m Amount that SPH is selling its one-third stake in 701Search to Norwegian telecommunications operator Telenor for

SPH chief executive officer Alan Chan said 701Search has performed well over the last 10 years since it started and this transaction presented an attractive opportunity for the firm to realise its investment.

"Telenor would be in the best position to continue growing the business further, deriving synergies between the online classifieds business and its telecommunications business," he added.

SPH said the transaction does not include SPHI's effective ownership in its online classified joint ventures with Schibsted, Telenor and Naspers in Thailand and Indonesia, with SPHI holding 18.6 per cent and 13.3 per cent interest respectively.

SPH said it will continue to invest in the digital business and look out for opportunities in Singapore and the region, subject to economics and business outlook considerations.

Ann Williams

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2017, with the headline 'SPH sells one-third stake in 701Search'. Print Edition | Subscribe