SPH takes over local car portal

Media company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has acquired popular online classified site for cars SgCarMart.com for SG$60 million.

The deal comes shortly after it snapping up Chope, a local restaurant booking site earlier this year for SG$1.8 million

Founded by Henry Seah, Tan Jing Lun and Vincent Tan in 2004, SgCarMart.com operates a variety of businesses, including vehicle classifieds, a car auction platform, car loans, insurance and settlement services. The team has now expanded to over 60 and last year, the portal made headway into Indonesia as a testbed.

In the last year, SgCarMart.com has been actively promoting its site, increasing its  marketing spend by 30% for 2012, focusing heavily on PR and social media, according to earlier reports.

SPH also declined to comment on the changes in management post the acquisition or how the move will impact advertisers on the SGCarMart.com.

According to local media reports, the value at which the site was bought for was at 12 times of SgCarMart.com's 2012 revenue. The site has over 90% market share in Singapore in terms of online vehicle classifieds.

SPH has also previously made other online acquisitions. In 2006 it purchased hardware forum and tech publishing company HardwareZone for US$4.5 million.