Hong Kong, 28 March 2006 - TOM Group Limited ("TOM", HKSE: 2383) and Singapore Press Holdings Limited ("SPH") today jointly announced a strategic partnership in which SPH will invest US$26million (HK$202.8 million) in TOM Outdoor Media Group ("OMG") at an implied value of approximately US$105 million* (HK$820 million), which includes an existing shareholder loan to OMG of US$30.8 million (HK$240 million) from TOM. Under this partnership, SPH will have a 35% shareholding while TOM will maintain a 65% stake. The partnership enables TOM and SPH to leverage their respective strengths and add value to OMG’s business.
OMG operates a diverse network of advertising billboards and unipoles in China, complemented by street furniture and transport advertising. It owns a billboard network of about 300,000 square meters spanning over 60 mainland cities, and has 16 subsidiaries providing comprehensive nationwide advertising solutions. SPH is the leading media company in Singapore with an established platform in publishing, internet and broadcasting. In 2005, SPH ventured into out-of-home advertising business. The strategic partnership provides SPH with a foothold in outdoor media sector in mainland China. OMG in turn will benefit from SPH’s strong media expertise and resources while continue to expand and solidify its leading outdoor advertising business by acquiring quality media assets in mainland China.
Tommei Tong, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director of TOM Group Limited and Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of SPH both concurred that this strategic partnership is a powerful catalyst that will propel further growth in OMG’s business.
Tommei Tong added, "SPH is a strong strategic partner and we see many synergies through this partnership. SPH’s strong financial resources, expertise in media operations as well as well-established customer base will help maximize OMG’s business scale and operational efficiency to take full advantage of future growth opportunities. We believe the partnership is a good starting point for cooperation between SPH and TOM."
Alan Chan said he shares TOM’s optimism over the partnership, which offers SPH the opportunity to make inroads in Asia’s fastest growing market.
"This is a notable business venture for SPH in mainland China, and in the outdoor segment, we have chosen a huge and accessible market that has the potential to provide healthy returns. It’s one of our key growth areas. With this partnership with TOM, we get access to 60 mainland Chinese cities, and we can tap into their knowledge and understanding of local market conditions."
"At the same time, this deal allows us to continue building our new media platforms so that we can offer our advertisers multiple and customized ways to reach their target audiences," Alan Chan added.
Upon the mutual agreement, TOM will have the right to appoint the Chief Executive Officer and Finance Director, whilst SPH will have the right to nominate two directors to OMG’s board, appoint the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Finance Director, and to fill management positions in marketing and business development. SPH CEO Alan Chan and Executive Vice President for Marketing, Leslie Fong join OMG’s board today. From TOM, the directors will be TOM Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Tommei Tong, Head Corporate General Counsel & Executive Director Angela Mak and Chief Investment Officer Michael Ng.
* implied value of US$105 million comprises a cash investment amount of US$26 million at an equity of US$74.3 million, plus TOM’s shareholder loan of US$30.8 million.
For media enquiries, please contact:
General Manager, Corporate Communications
TOM Group Limited
Tel: (852) 2121 7810
Fax: (852) 2127 7576
Head, Corporate Relations
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Tel : (65) 6319 1216
Fax: (65) 6319 8150
About TOM Group Limited
TOM Group Limited (stock code: 2383) is listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. A leading Chinese-language media conglomerate in Greater China, TOM Group has diverse business interests in five key areas: Internet (TOM Online), Outdoor Media (TOM Outdoor Media Group), Publishing, Sports, Television and Entertainment across markets in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In each of the areas it operates, TOM Group has secured market leadership.
The Group was founded in October 1999 as a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa, Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited, and other strategic investors. Headquartered in Hong Kong, the Group has regional headquarters in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei with over 4,000 employees in more than 20 cities.
For more information about TOM Group, please log on to www.tomgroup.com
About Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading media company in Singapore, in the print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and more than 80 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.8 million individuals, or 88 per cent of the people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers, which enjoy over 100 million pageviews from 6 million unique visitors every month.
SPH also owns a 20% stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40% stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes free sheet Today. SPH has a 70% stake in UnionWorks which operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, and owns an 80% stake in SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s largest LED network media company.