Completion of media restructuring
Singapore, 1 December 2021 - SPH Media Trust today announced the completion of the media restructuring exercise with Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPHL) and the transfer of its media-related businesses (SPH Media) to SPH Media Trust.
The transfer follows SPHL's extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on 10 September 2021 where shareholders voted to spin off its media business. SPH Media Trust, a company limited by guarantee, will from today operate SPH Media under a not-for-profit structure.
Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Chairman of SPH Media Trust, said: "We are pleased to have completed the transfer of SPH Media to SPH Media Trust today. This marks a critical milestone as we re-focus on our mission of producing quality journalism as a public good. This will also ensure the continued relevance and sustainability of SPH Media."
"We thank SPHL for its stewardship of SPH Media over the years,” added Mr Khaw. “We look forward to working with everyone in the incoming team to strengthen SPH Media as a trusted multimedia organisation.”
With the completion of the transfer, all relevant media-related assets and 2,500 employees have been transferred to SPH Media Trust, including the News Centre and Print Centre leasehold properties, as well as related intellectual property and information technology assets.
Included in the transfer are the trademarks and logos relating to the names "Singapore Press Holdings" and “SPH”. SPHL, its subsidiaries and SPH REIT will have a temporary licence to use these trademarks and logos, pending their eventual change of name.
SPHL has agreed to capitalise the SPH Media companies with a cash injection of $80 million and $30 million worth of SPH shares and SPH REIT units.
Mr Patrick Daniel, Interim CEO of SPH Media Trust, recounted that SPHL had reiterated in its EGM circular to its shareholders that "the listed company model is no longer the best business structure for quality journalism" and that traditional print media was undergoing unavoidable "secular decline".
"This is the key reason for the media restructuring,” added Mr Daniel. “The transition to SPH Media Trust will allow SPH Media to grow without the profit-driven pressures of a public-listed entity. The media business can then seek funding support from a range of public and private sources, even as it strives to grow its own commercial revenues."
Despite the massive disruption to the global media industry in recent years, Mr Daniel noted that SPH titles have grown their total (print plus digital) audience. "It's not as if people have stopped reading us. This shows there are new opportunities for us to innovate and transform SPH Media into a truly global brand. The team is confident of delivering on our core mission."
Mr Daniel thanked the outgoing SPHL media leadership and the transition team for ensuring the smooth transfer of the staff and assets of the media businesses to SPH Media Trust.
Issued by SPH Media Trust (UEN: 202125108M)
For more information, please contact:
Corporate Communications & CSR
DID: 6319 1982
Assistant Vice President
Corporate Communications & CSR
DID: 6319 1028
About SPH Media Trust
SPH Media Trust is incorporated as a public company limited by guarantee. The mission of SPH Media Trust is to be the trusted source of news on Singapore and Asia, to represent the communities that make up Singapore, and to connect them to the world. It has several business segments in the media industry, including the publishing of newspapers, magazines, and books in both print and digital editions. It also owns and operates other businesses including radio stations and outdoor media. For more information on SPH Media Trust, please visit www.sph.com.sg and our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.