Singapore Press Holdings delisted, Gerald Yong new CEO

After 38 years on the Singapore Exchange, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) was officially delisted on Friday to become wholly owned by investment vehicle Cuscaden Peak.

SPH chief executive officer Ng Yat Chung will step down from his post tomorrow, together with the current directors of SPH. A new board will then be constituted.

In an e-mail to SPH staff on Friday that was seen by The Sunday Times, Mr Ng said that CapitaLand CEO (Special Projects) Gerald Yong will be appointed as CEO of SPH from tomorrow.

"The new SPH board will be chaired by Mr Christopher Lim, who is also the chairman of Cuscaden Peak Pte Ltd," said Mr Ng.

He added that he will remain as senior advisor to SPH to ensure a smooth transition for the new board and CEO.

On Thursday, Cuscaden announced in a bourse filing that the payment of the Cuscaden scheme consideration to take over SPH had been effected.

Cuscaden is a consortium comprising tycoon Ong Beng Seng's Hotel Properties (HPL) and Temasek-linked CLA Real Estate Holdings and Mapletree.

SPH consists of non-media assets such as retail and aged care properties after it restructured its media business - which includes titles such as The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao - into not-for-profit entity SPH Media Trust last December.

In his e-mail, Mr Ng thanked SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang and the directors for their guidance and support over the years. Mr Ng has been CEO of SPH since September 2017.

He also welcomed Mr Lim and the new board members of SPH to guide the company forward, and said he was pleased to be succeeded by Mr Yong.

"Gerald has a stellar record and is well qualified to lead SPH Limited in the next lap," he said.

The contest to acquire SPH's non-media assets came to an end in March, when SPH shareholders voted overwhelmingly for Cuscaden Peak's offer. The other suitor had been Keppel Corp.

SPH Limited was incorporated on Aug 4, 1984, as a holding company to effect the merger of The Straits Times Press (1975) Limited, Singapore News and Publications Limited, Times Publishing Berhad and Singapore Newspaper Services.

Last month, Cuscaden offered to acquire SPH real estate investment trust (Reit) at 93.72 cents per unit, the minimum offer price required after adjusting for recent SPH Reit distributions.

The offer by Cuscaden is required by the Singapore Code on Take-overs and Mergers, as it now owns 47.2 per cent of SPH Reit, having completed its scheme to take SPH private.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 15, 2022, with the headline Singapore Press Holdings delisted, Gerald Yong new CEO. Subscribe