Mediacorp to buy SPH’s stakes in its TV and press units, TODAY to go fully digital

A screen shot of the online version of the 25 August 2017 edition of TODAY newspaper.

Mediacorp will buy Singapore Press Holdings’ stakes in its TV and press units for $18 million in a deal that comes 12 years after SPH purchased the stakes in a media industry consolidation.

The two media companies said in a joint statement on Friday (25 August) that Mediacorp will buy SPH’s 20 per cent stake in Mediacorp TV Holdings, which owns Channels 5, 8 and U and Mediacorp Studios, for $8.6 million, and SPH’s 40 per cent stake in Mediacorp Press, which runs the TODAY newspaper, for $9.4 million.

Mediacorp also announced on Friday that the TODAY newspaper will stop its print edition in end-September and go fully digital. The discontinuation of the print edition will result in 40 roles being made redundant, Mediacorp said. The affected staff may be redeployed to other roles in the company and if not, eligible staff will be offered severance packages and outplacement support.

Ng Yat Chung, Executive Director and CEO-designate of SPH, said, “The proposed divestment will allow SPH to focus on its core media business. Free to air television is not core to SPH’s business and the divestment of the stake in TODAY follows Mediacorp’s decision to turn it into a fully digital product.”

SPH said it expects to record a write down of about $31 million in its books in relation to the deal.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and expected to complete by end-September. Once completed, the TV and press units will become wholly owned subsidiaries of Mediacorp.