SINGAPORE, 13 January 2016 – PropertyGuru Group, (“PropertyGuru” or the “Group”), Asia's leading online property portal group, announced today its purchase of the real estate media businesses of Ensign Media, a company headquartered in Singapore. The purchase includes ‘Property Report’, a regional luxury property and lifestyle magazine and website that publishes news and insights on such investment destinations. It also includes Asia Property Awards, the region’s biggest, best-recognised and respected property industry awards, held in nine countries annually. These profitable and fast-growing businesses will complement PropertyGuru’s existing businesses. With this full asset purchase, the existing staff of Ensign will be absorbed into PropertyGuru.
By combining the reach of PropertyGuru and Ensign, even more real estate developers and partners across the region will have the opportunity for industry recognition, bringing the Asia Property Awards and its conference brand, the Property Report Congress, to even greater heights. In addition, real estate advertisers across Asia can now work with PropertyGuru – a single media partner – to support their regional branding initiatives across multiple platforms, reaching a wider audience, and eventually, driving more real estate transactions. PropertyGuru’s 14 million users and Property Report’s 70,000 online and offline readers, will have combined access to PropertyGuru’s 600 monthly research and news articles published in three languages across four markets, and Property Report’s 100 plus online features per month.
Steve Melhuish, CEO and Co-Founder of PropertyGuru, said, “We’re excited to welcome the Ensign team and businesses to PropertyGuru. This latest acquisition strengthens the Group’s content, geographic reach and services we provide to real estate developers regionally.
“With the recent implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), ASEAN has been forecast to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030. In the next ten to fifteen years, we expect increasing cross-border movements and foreign investments, creating more demand for properties in these markets. With 14 million property seekers from all over the world using our online portals every month, searching for the right property, gathering trends, insightful news and feature stories, PropertyGuru is well-placed to help them find the home they’ve always dreamed about.”
The acquisition of the Ensign businesses will strengthen PropertyGuru’s integrated property media capability, combining the company’s leading online property sites and its 20 property shows across the region, with a leading print and online publication and a highly successful and prestigious property industry awards platform in Asia. The national editions of Asia Property Awards are held in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam annually.
The winners from each country go on to compete in the South East Asia Property Awards, which are presented annually in Singapore at a showcase conference and gala dinner event. The China Property Awards separately cover Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau and are held annually in Hong Kong. Each award is judged by an independent panel of industry experts and has a fully transparent entry and judging system supervised by BDO, one of the world’s largest accountancy and auditing networks. The Asia Property Awards are the benchmark for recognizing quality real estate in Asia.
Founded by Terry Blackburn and Duncan Worthington in 2003 and headquartered in Singapore, Ensign began publishing Property Report in 2004. Focusing on high-end real estate in the region, and international investment opportunities for readers, Property Report is now a bi-monthly print magazine distributed across ASEAN and Hong Kong via newsstands, five star hotels, airport lounges and direct mail. Property-Report.com features listings of Asia Property Award winning developments and over 100 Asia-focused property articles each month, receiving 60,000 page views monthly.
Ensign’s founder, Terry Blackburn, who will be joining PropertyGuru to continue to drive growth in the Asia Property Awards and Property Report, said, “Over the past 10 years, Property Report has established an expertise in providing its readership with the latest insights on luxury property investment in Asia, and we are very excited about this next stage. The Asia Property Awards are already the region’s largest and most respected real estate awards and now, with PropertyGuru’s support, they will be even bigger in 2016 and the years ahead. This is great news, both for developers seeking credible recognition, and for investors looking for the region’s best properties. Together with PropertyGuru, we will ensure that award winners in the world’s most exciting real estate destinations receive the widest possible recognition for their achievements.”
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About PropertyGuru Group
PropertyGuru Group is Asia’s leading online property portal group used by more than 14 million property buyers, viewing over 116 million property pages and generating over 500,000 enquiries for real estate developer and agent advertisers – every month – across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
Headquartered in Singapore, PropertyGuru was founded in 2006 by two entrepreneurs with a vision to simplify the property search process and help buyers, sellers and investors make better property decisions faster. Taking advantage of Asia’s growing affluence, property demand and online explosion, PropertyGuru has become market leader in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. The Group received S$175million investment - the second largest in the technology sector in Southeast Asia in 2015 - to support its innovation, marketing and further expansion in the region.
PropertyGuru has a full suite of integrated property media capability, from its original core business in Online, Mobile and Events, to Television broadcast (in Indonesia, via an investment and partnership with EMTEK), and a recent acquisition of Print and Property Awards businesses, under the brand names of “Property Report” and “Asia Property Awards”. With a continued focus on innovation, PropertyGuru has developed and launched 15 mobile applications in four countries and three languages. At present, the Group records over 2.8 million downloaded mobile apps. In the past two years, PropertyGuru launched over ten major products and enhancements to help consumers make better property decisions, such as website and mobile app revamp, FloorPlans, a new listing quality ranking algorithm, SmartSelect – the world’s first research engine for easier property comparison, Agent Insights – a ‘big-data’ development that delivers personalized insights to customers through automated programs, in-depth Project Reviews of the latest property launches, Map Search, and a whole suite of financing tools and calculators.
Businesses in the region include:
• Property search portals:
• PropertyGuru.com.sg and CommercialGuru.com.sg in Singapore
• PropertyGuru.com.my in Malaysia
• DDProperty.com in Thailand
• Rumah.com and RumahDijual.com in Indonesia
• Print and online publications:
• Property Report
• PropertyGuru News and Views
• Asia Property Awards in Asia
• PropertyGuru Events
Other Marketing solutions:
• New Project sales and marketing: ePropertyTrack
ABOUT STEVE MELHUISH
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Steve is an award-winning entrepreneur. In the last two decades, he built profitable companies throughout Asia and Europe. He co-founded PropertyGuru due to his personal frustrations at trying to find a new home in 2006. Today, PropertyGuru is the leading online property group in South East Asia used by over 14 million property seekers and 31,000 property advertisers every month.
Prior to Steve’s current role, he had advised various firms including Skype, AOL, Virgin Media, Vodafone, Extreme Media, iPass and Ariadne Capital. He also led global teams and a US$500 million turnover business unit for Cable & Wireless. In 2007, Steve was awarded the Spirit of Enterprise Award in recognition of his contributions to entrepreneurship in Singapore. Steve has invested in 4 digital media firms and is passionate about Asia + Digital.
ABOUT ENSIGN MEDIA
Established in Thailand in 2003 and headquartered in Singapore, Ensign Media is the publisher of Property Report, Asia’s leading luxury real estate, architecture and design print and online publication. The company also organises the region’s foremost real estate events, including the decade-old Asia Property Awards programme and the Property Report Congress, a dedicated forum for industry leaders, experts and VIPs to discuss how to continue driving growth and excellence in the world’s most dynamic real estate markets.
With more than a decade of experience in producing high quality media and events in the world’s most vibrant economic region, and a distribution network encompassing South East Asia, Hong Kong and Macau, Ensign is Asia’s leading property media company.