Dahe gives MediaCorp. 'gateway' to China

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SINGAPORE -- Singapore free-TV broadcaster MediaCorp. on Thursday announced plans to take a 22.66% stake in Chinese outdoor advertising firm Dahe Media Co Ltd., a step toward giving MediaCorp. more of a regional footprint.

The investment in Nanjing-based Dahe Media comprises both vendor shares and a block of new shares, the latter priced at HK$89 million ($11.4 million). The purchase is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, expected over the next few months, the company said. No further financial details were provided.

Dahe, the first advertising company from China to be listed in Hong Kong, has one of China's largest advertising and sales networks. It has about 170,000 square meters of billboard space, counting such brands as Nike, Audi, China Mobile, Shell, HSBC and Coca-Cola among its clients.

The partnership will focus on expanding Dahe's "China Express Advertising Board," a new advertising platform. A fast-growing advertising segment in the past year, it is based on multimedia billboards that can be updated via wireless technology and have the ability to transmit audio and instant text messages to audiences.

So far, MediaCorp's involvement in China has largely been in TV and radio co-productions as well as the distribution of Channel NewsAsia.

Lucas Chow, MediaCorp. chief executive officer, noted this investment will give MediaCorp's existing clients a "gateway into China."
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