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Telenor, Schibsted and Singapore Press Holdings team up in online classifieds

(Fornebu, 30 September 2013) Telenor, Schibsted Media Group and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) are teaming up to create two joint ventures in online classifieds. The companies will provide high-quality online classified services to people in Asia and South America. 

Telenor Group and Schibsted Media Group have established SnT Classifieds, a company which will pursue online classified opportunities in selected key markets in South America and Asia. Telenor will also join as equal partner in 701 Search (701), the current joint venture between Schibsted Media Group and SPH which operates and develops online classifieds in Southeast Asia.

While Schibsted brings extensive knowledge of and experience from the online classifieds business, Telenor contributes with significant emerging market experience and deep insight into mobile internet technology and usage. Through its strong media presence in Singapore and across Southeast Asia, SPH will continue to bring substantial value to the partnership through extensive local insight and a strong regional network.

"We believe we will succeed in bringing our popular products and proven business-models to rapidly developing economies in South America and Asia. These joint ventures formed by three knowledge- driven and industrially oriented companies give us even more financial and operational strength to pursue attractive number 1-positions. We can do more, and we can move faster. This will improve our chance to succeed," said Schibsted CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal.

Over the next six to seven years, close to three billion people are expected to access the Internet using their mobile phone as the primary or only interface. As more services go digital and mobile transactions gain ground, the mobile device will become ever more important for distribution. Participation in the development of the most successful Internet sites nationally, which online classified sites typically are, will help to secure presence on the devices and increased exposure to the mobile Internet growth.

"Bringing Internet to the masses is a key objective for Telenor. Online classifieds on mobile is growing fast. Being one of the largest mobile operators in the world with a strong footprint in emerging markets, it makes perfect sense for Telenor to team up with two world class companies like Schibsted and SPH to create a leading online classifieds player. The combined Asian scope of SnT Classifieds and 701 also overlaps well with Telenor`s Asian presence," said Rolv-Erik Spilling, EVP and Head of Telenor Digital.

Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of SPH, said: "701 Search has turned in a good performance since it started, achieving market dominance in some areas and growing rapidly in others. With the participation of another strategic investor, and the different strengths and extensive knowledge of SPH, Schibsted and Telenor, we can work towards penetrating the online classifieds market in Southeast Asia and beyond."
  
"Schibsted, SPH and Telenor are a perfect match. Schibsted and SPH are leading providers of one of the most popular Internet services in online classifieds, and reach around 100 million people worldwide. Telenor is one of the world`s leading mobile companies already bringing communication and Internet services to 150 million customers in Europe and Asia," state Ryssdal, Chan and Spilling.

The two joint ventures will have the following structure:

SnT C is a new joint venture established by Telenor and Schibsted, in which Telenor and Schibsted will own 50% each. Schibsted contributes their existing South American assets Yapo (Chile) and Bomnegocio (Brazil). Telenor contributes with its Bangladeshi asset Cellbazaar.
SnT C will be governed through a Board of Directors with equal representation from Schibsted and Telenor. Terje Seljeseth, CEO of Schibsted Classified Media will be the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the new company. The CEO of the new company will be Andries Oudshoorn, currently the CEO of Schibsted`s online classified site Bomnegocio.com in Brazil.

701 is an existing joint venture between Schibsted and SPH with online classifieds operations in South-East Asia. 701 Search today operates the online classified companies Mudah.my (Malaysia), Berniaga.com (Indonesia), Ayosdito.ph (The Philippines) and Chotot.vn (Vietnam). 701 Search Pte was established in 2006 by Schibsted and SPH as equal partners. According to the agreement, Telenor, Schibsted and SPH will hereafter own 33.3% each in 701.

Telenor pays around EUR 145 million in cash for its 50% share in SnT Classifieds and 33.3% stake in 701. The parties have committed pro rata funding of the joint ventures until estimated cash flow breakeven.

An online classified site is a digital marketplace that can be divided into several segments such as general merchandise, automobiles, property, jobs, personals, travel and services. In the majority of countries where online classifieds sites exist they are among the most visited web-sites. Examples include Schibsted`s leading sites Finn (Norway), Blocket (Sweden) and Leboncoin (France).

The transaction is subject to relevant merger control approvals and is expected to be finalized during Q4.

Press contacts

Schibsted: Anders Rikter, Head of Communication Schibsted Media Group, (+47) 920 84 996, anders.rikter@schibsted.no  

Telenor: Atle Lessum, Head of Communication Telenor Digital, (+47) 415 05 645, al@telenor.co

SPH: Chin Soo Fang, Head Corporate Communications & CSR Singapore Press Holdings Ltd,
(+ 65) 6319 1216, soofang@sph.com.sg
  
Telenor
Telenor Group is an international provider of tele, data and media communication services. Telenor Group has mobile operations in 12 markets in the Nordic region, Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia, as well as a voting stake of 42.95 per cent (economic stake 33 per cent) in VimpelCom Ltd., operating in 17 markets. Headquartered in Norway, Telenor Group is one of the world`s major mobile operators with more than 150 million mobile subscriptions in its consolidated operations per Q2 2013, revenues in 2012 of NOK 102 billion, and a workforce of nearly 34,000. For more information about Telenor Group, please visit www.telenor.com

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Schibsted Media Group
SHAPING THE MEDIA OF TOMORROW. TODAY.

Schibsted is an international media group with approximately 7,800 employees and operations in 29 countries.
Schibsted`s strategy comprises two main objectives: further development of our media houses and establishment of popular online classifieds services. Several of our media houses are among Europe`s leading online newspapers and pioneers in the fields of web TV, mobile and paid online services. The industry know-how which our media houses possess about the interaction between established and new media forms much of the basis for our ambitions for future growth. In recent years we have been systematically expanding our online classifieds business, both through acquisitions and organic growth. The online classifieds segment is a long-standing and important part of our business model. For more information about Schibsted Media Group, please visit Schibsted.com

Singapore Press Holdings
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia`s leading media organization, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms. SPH has 19 titles licensed under the Newspaper Printing and Presses Act, of which nine are daily newspapers across four languages, and over 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region. On an average day, - 3.05 million individuals or 76 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH`s news publications. SPH`s internet editions of its major newspapers enjoy over 300 million page views with 20 million unique visitors each month. Other new media initiatives include AsiaOne, omy.sg, ST701, Stomp and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH has also ventured into book publishing, broadcasting, out-of-home advertising and properties. For more information, please visit www.sph.com.sg.



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