Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has completed the sale of its stakes in Mediacorp Press and Mediacorp TV Holdings.
The group said yesterday that all the conditions in the divestment agreement announced last month have been met.
Mediacorp Press and Mediacorp TV Holdings have now ceased to be associated companies of SPH. The stakes of 20 per cent in Mediacorp TV Holdings and 40 per cent in Mediacorp Press - the publisher of the Today newspaper - were divested for $18 million. This followed Mediacorp's decision to cease the print edition of Today.
As part of the deal, Mediacorp had also agreed to stop publishing any soft copy or computer-readable format of Today that has the look and feel of a hardcopy version of the newspaper, for a period of five years.
SPH chief executive and executive director Ng Yat Chung said, when the sale was first announced, that the deal would also free up SPH to concentrate on its core media business.
"This rationalisation will allow us to focus our energies on serving our audience and advertisers best through a suite of strong media products across the print, digital and radio platforms," he said in a statement last month.
SPH had purchased the stakes as part of a media industry asset consolidation in 2005, during which SPH transferred a TV channel to Mediacorp and took a 20 per cent stake in Mediacorp TV. SPH also merged its free newspaper Streats with Today, and bought a 40 per cent stake in Mediacorp Press.