SINGAPORE – Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) at 2.30pm on Sept 10 for shareholders to vote on a proposal to hive off its media business, the company announced before the market opened on Tuesday (August 17).

The move is the first part of a strategic revamp that will see the privatisation and sale of the rest of SPH to Keppel Corp in a $3.4 billion deal. The proposed acquisition by Keppel is subject to SPH shareholders first approving the media restructuring plan.

At the EGM, to be held electronically, shareholders will vote on the transfer by SPH of its media business to a newly formed company limited by guarantee for a nominal sum of $1.

They will also vote on the conversion of each management share held by a management shareholder into one ordinary share, and the related adoption of a new constitution.

The special resolution is contingent upon the passing of the first resolution on the transfer of the media business.

That transfer will require at least 50 per cent of participating shareholders to vote in favour, while the special resolution on the conversion of management shares and new constitution needs at least 75 per cent to go through.

SPH, which publishes The Straits Times, first announced its plans to transfer the media business to a not-for-profit company as part of a strategic review of its various businesses on May 6.

The restructuring entails transferring all media-related businesses, including relevant subsidiaries, employees, the News Centre and Print Centre along with their respective leaseholds, as well as all related intellectual property and information technology assets, to a newly incorporated wholly owned subsidiary, SPH Media Holdings.

In an Aug 17 letter to the SPH board of directors, Evercore, which was appointed independent financial adviser to the board, noted that the proposed restructuring of the media business “is in the overall interest of the company and shareholders”.

By voting in favour of the restructuring, Evercore noted that shareholders would not incur the “potentially significant and recurring losses of the media business”.

Evercore said the the move will allow the company to “set a clear strategic direction with a focus on the real estate sector and related segments of student accommodation and aged care”.

Additionally, shareholders and investors will also have the opportunity to own more than 5 per cent of SPH shares without the need for government approval, “thereby expanding the strategic options and possibilities available to the company”, Evercore said.

As for the Keppel offer, SPH shareholders will receive consideration of $2.099 per share, comprising cash of $0.668 per share, 0.596 Keppel Reit units valued at $0.715 per share and 0.782 SPH Reit units valued at $0.716 per share.

In short, for every 1,000 SPH shares owned, an SPH shareholder will get $668 in cash, $715 worth of Keppel Reits and $716 worth of SPH Reits.

SPH shares closed unchanged on Monday at $1.89.