In a significant move, SPH Magazines Pte Ltd, part of the giant Singapore Press Holdings Group, has acquired ACP Magazines, the Australian publishing company.

This means in addition to the 100 titles or more currently published by SPH, the company will now own the trademarks of The Women’s Weekly and Cleo in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia as well as The Finder in Singapore and Malaysia. SPH Magazines will also take over the 50% share that APC had in a joint venture with Hearst Magazines International which publishes Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan in Singapore and Malaysia.

Loh Yew Seng, CEO of SPH Magazines spoke of increasing effectiveness and efficiency as well as giving added value to readers and advertisers.

Julie Sherborn, currently CEO of ACP Magazines, will become a Publishing Consultant during the transitional period, reporting to Loh. Bridget Hope, ACP Magazine’s Publishing Director who currently heads the editorial staff, will report to Caroline Ngui, Group Editor-in-Chief of SPH Magazines.

This acquisition leaves Singapore with just two major magazine publishers SPH and MediaCorp but the latter is dwarfed by the extent of the SPH portfolio. There is a considerable gap between the next cluster.

This move is an indication of the changes in the publishing industry and perhaps the lack of confidence publishers have in the future of the print magazine.