Global Yellow Pages restructures business; retrenches workers

GLOBAL Yellow Pages Limited announced on Tuesday that it will restructure its business to focus on real estate as its core business and cease publication of print directories from 2018.

As a result, there will be retrenchments in the company, but no figures were revealed.

In its filing to the Singapore Exchange, it said that its search business has been declining significantly year on year. Therefore, the company has decided to cease the print directories from 2018 and restructure the digital business.

As part of its restructuring, Global Yellow Pages had entered into a joint venture agreement with a newly incorporated entity - NewCo - to handle digital directories, data and online offerings under a proposed licence.

In addition, it proposed a subscription of new ordinary shares constituting 20 per cent of the issued share capital of NewCo. The company also announced a proposed subscription of 10 per cent of the issued share capital of Page Advisor Holdings (PAH), which is also a shareholder in NewCo and founded by online entrepreneur Fabian Lim.

The company said that this will allow the group to "participate and benefit from the potential growth and success" of NewCo and PAH in the digital sphere while it focuses on the real estate core business. Mr Lim and PAH will have a combined 45 per cent stake in NewCo.

Stanley Tan, CEO and director of Global Yellow Pages, said: "With this painful but necessary revamp of our Yellow Pages business model and the group gaining increasing traction in property, we are building a business that is significantly more resilient; and we will continue to seek opportunities to further add value to the group."

Global Yellow Pages has diversified into the real estate business in recent years, in addition to the existing search business. Its real estate segment has been the biggest contributor to the group's revenue and total assets since FY2016.

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