Singapore: SPH exits 701Search with sale to Norwegian telco Telenor in a $109m deal

Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) has announced the proposed divestment of its stake in 701Search Pte Ltd (701Search) to Norwegian telecommunications operator Telenor ASA for a consideration of approximately  $109 million (S$153.4 million).

701Search is a media firm founded in 2006 with SPH Interactive International Pte Ltd (SPHI) and Norway’s Schibsted Classified Media AS as equal partners.

It develops and operates online marketplaces in Southeast Asia. It operates online classified websites for consumers and advertisers to upload content and advertising in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Its marketplaces are used for buying and selling goods online.

In 2013, Telenor became another partner in the joint venture (JV) between SPH and Schibsted Media Group. Currently, 701Search operates the online classified sites: Chotot.vn in Vietnam, OneKyat.com in Myanmar, Mudah.my in Malaysia and ImSold, an online classifieds mobile app.

Besides SPHI, Norway’s Schibsted will also sell its stake to Telenor. The transaction is subject to regulatory and other relevant approvals and conditions. Upon closing, 701Search will cease to be an associate company of SPH.

This transaction does not include SPHI’s effective ownership of 18.6 per cent and 13.3 per cent in Thailand and Indonesia respectively in the online classified joint ventures with Schibsted, Telenor and Naspers Limited.

Alan Chan, CEO of SPH, said, “701Search has performed well over the last 10 years since it started. This transaction presents an attractive opportunity for us to realise our 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.”

According to a media release, SPH 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.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.