Singapore Press Holdings confirms bid for telco M1 as diversification continues

The media conglomerate is part of a joint bid launched by marine offshore conglomerate Keppel Corporation. Photo: Bloomberg.

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has confirmed it is in talks to gain majority control of Singapore-based telco M1.

The media conglomerate is part of a joint bid launched by marine offshore conglomerate Keppel Corporation, through a joint venture company named Konnectivity Pte Ltd, to take over the smallest telco in Singapore.

SPH currently has a 13.45% stake in M1 and is offering $2.06 per share for the remaining M1 shares they do not own. That means the telco is valued at $1.9 billion, according to broadsheet The Straits Times, which is owned by SPH.

“We are supporting Keppel in this Offer as we see the potential for long term value creation in M1 from the growth and business transformation initiatives to be undertaken post close of the Offer,” said Ng Yat Chung, chief executive officer of SPH.

“The transaction is earnings accretive for SPH shareholders, and is part of SPH’s ongoing strategy to enhance value for its shareholders. Keppel has demonstrated strong commitment to lead M1 in its transformation plans, and we believe they are the right partner to take M1 further.”

“We also see opportunities for SPH to leverage on M1's mobile platform to offer on demand and ready digital content to better serve our customers. We look forward to working together to utilise our resources and expertise to best develop M1.”

SPH has spent 2018 finding ways to diversify its business to cope with its rapidly decreasing advertising revenue for its media business. At the end of 2017, it consolidated editorial assets of its Chinese Media Group.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.