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SPH selling stake in 701Search to Norwegian firm for US$109m
SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) said on Friday it is selling its entire stake in 701Search Pte Ltd to Norway's leading telecommunications operator Telenor ASA for about US$109 million.
A conditional agreement to this effect was entered into by SPH's wholly owned subsidiary SPH Interactive International Pte Ltd (SPHII) with Telenor Communications II AS.
Under the agreement, SPHII will sell to Telenor 60.2 million ordinary shares of 701Search, representing SPHII's entire one-third stake.
SPH CEO Alan Chan 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," he added.
Besides SPHI, Norway's Schibsted Classified Media AS 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.
SPH said it 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.