SPH in tie-up for online classifieds business

SPH in tie-up for online classifieds business

Media company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has tied up with three firms, from South Africa and Norway, to develop its online classifieds platform in Indonesia and Thailand.

SPH will form joint ventures with media group Schibsted and mobile operator Telenor, both of Norway, and South African e-commerce firm Naspers.

SPH chief executive Alan Chan said: "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."

The four firms said in a statement that combining their platforms will make it faster and easier than ever for customers to trade and turn their items into cash.

"They will be able to choose from a wider selection of items and be more successful in selling their own items to a larger audience of buyers."

By coming together, the businesses will also be able to share cost, expertise and people, the statement added.

Naspers chief executive Bob van Dijk said in a conference call with media and analysts yesterday: "Some markets have potentially long and costly roads... with this partnership we can develop these markets at a much faster rate than we otherwise would have."

Mr Henrik Clausen, the head of Telenor group strategy and digital, added: "Building on the already established and successful cooperation between us, SPH and Schibsted, our engagement in online classifieds has moved from a somewhat unexplored field to a strategic and exciting area of opportunity.

"I'm confident that taking this to the next phase will result in a sustainable model with great customer services, good growth and potential synergies."

As part of the agreement, 701Search will transfer its online classifieds business in the Philippines to Naspers, who will manage the operation.

701Search is an equal partnership joint venture between Schibsted, Telenor and SPH.

This will allow 701Search to focus its efforts in Thailand.

The parties will continue to develop other markets separately.

The transaction is subject to European Union approval and is expected to close early next year.

This article was first published on November 15, 2014.
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