By TESSA OH, JANICE LIM
MAY 06, 2021
- The Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will set up a new subsidiary to house its media business, with injection of initial resources, funding
- The subsidiary will eventually be transferred to a company limited by guarantee to be funded by private and public sources
- The exercise will involve transferring the entire media-related business of the conglomerate, including employees and its news and print centres
With this move — which is expected to be fully completed by October, subject to shareholders’ approval — SPH’s media business will eventually become a company limited by a guarantee, it announced on Thursday (May 6).
The restructuring into a company limited by guarantee will allow SPH’s media business to get funding from private and public sources, including getting extra financial support from the Government.
Its values of earning the public’s trust and confidence will be “ported over” to the new entity, Dr Lee said.
He gave the assurance that the team would be charged with the mission of practising responsible, objective and accurate journalism.
Following more questions about maintaining editorial independence, SPH chief executive officer Ng Yat Chung appeared to lose his cool and said he took umbrage at such questions.
“For SPH, we have always had advertising and we have never, never conceded to the needs of advertisers… The fact that you dare to question (the editorial independence) of SPH titles… I don't believe even where you come from, you concede in doing your job,” Mr Ng said.
This transfer will cover its relevant subsidiaries, employees, its news and print centres, respective leaseholds, as well as related intellectual property and information technology assets.
SPH will provide the new subsidiary with initial resources and funding, with a cash injection of S$80 million, S$30 million worth of SPH shares and SPH Reit (real estate investment trust) units, as well as SPH’s stakes in four of its digital media investments.
Under the restructuring proposal, the new subsidiary will then eventually be transferred for a nominal sum to a company limited by guarantee.
SPH’s media business has since fallen into the red, recording its first-ever loss of S$11.4 million for the financial year that ended on Aug 31 last year.