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SPH associated firm 701Search and Myriad International to set up JVs in Thailand, Indonesia

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SINGAPORE Press Holdings' (SPH) associated company 701Search is partnering Netherlands-based Myriad International Holdings to develop their online classifieds businesses in Indonesia and Thailand.

SINGAPORE Press Holdings' (SPH) associated company 701Search is partnering Netherlands-based Myriad International Holdings to develop their online classifieds businesses in Indonesia and Thailand.

Myriad is a subsidiary of Naspers while 701Search is held equally by SPH Interactive International, Telenor Communications II and Schibsted Classified Media.

Under the deal, Myriad will sell its assets in Malaysia and Vietnam to 701Search, which will in turn sell its Philippine assets to Myriad. In addition, Myriad and 701Search will contribute their individual shares and/or assets to establish and form joint-venture businesses in Thailand and Indonesia.

701Search will acquire a 36 per cent stake in the joint-venture company in Indonesia with Myriad acquiring the remaining 64 per cent stake. 701Search will also be transferring its entire interest in PT 701Search to the Indonesian JV company. The net tangible asset value of PT 701Search as at Aug 31 is negative S$11.4 million. The consideration for the PT 701Search transfers will be at fair market value, which will be determined at completion of the deal.

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In Thailand, 701Search will have a 55.9 per cent stake in the JV, while Myriad will hold the balance.

Meanwhile, Naspers and SNT are partnering to set up JVs in Brazil and Bangladesh. Naspers and SNT will have a 50:50 JV in Brazil, while in Bangladesh, SNT will hold 50.3 per cent and Naspers, the balance. SNT is an equal shareholding joint venture between Schibsted and Telenor.

Alan Chan, chief executive of SPH, said: "We are pleased to partner with Naspers following our strategic investments with Schibsted and Telenor. It will greatly enhance our regional presence, ensure cost savings and promote exchange of expertise. We are confident that this move will help us better serve all consumers in the region."

"Combining our expertise and sharing costs means we can build much better awareness among consumers of the huge benefits of online classifieds," added Martin Scheepbouwer, chief executive of classifieds at Naspers. "We'll also be able to expand the products and services we offer to existing and new buyers and sellers."

The transaction, which is subject to EU approval, is expected to close early next year.

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