Prolific Thai property developer Sansiri has purchased a 13 percent stake in media brand Monocle, and has revealed plans to develop The Monocle Residence.
The developer spent US$ 5.9 million – equal to almost THB 200 million – for the stake in the international lifestyle magazine brand.
In a statement to the Thai Stock Exchange, Sansiri noted the 13.04 percent stake in the U.K.-based media company was expected to be completed by November 7.
It said the main business operation of Monocle is media, including Monocle magazine, 24-hour radio, e-commerce, fashion retail and events.
It added the share purchase will also allow Sansiri to globally promote its brand through Monocle, as well as the opportunity for co-development with Monocle, such as marketing aspects, as well as potential collaboration with Monocle in developing The Monocle Residence.
Media reports in the U.K. suggested that Monocle will advise Sansiri on a luxury residential project in Bangkok.
The Financial Times reported that Tyler Brûlé, the Editor in Chief and Founder of Monacle, as saying: “I think a lot of it ties back to . . . what their residential ambitions are.”
“We have an international audience and the established advertisership works for this. Deepening the ties is important,” he added.
Monocle was launched in 2007 as a magazine briefing on global affairs, business, culture, design and more.
According to its own figures it sells more than 81,000 copies per issue, with 18,000 subscribers.
In 2013 it launched our first book in collaboration with Berlin publisher Gestalten. “The Monocle Guide to Better Living” proved an instant hit and has since been joined by “The Monocle Guide to Good Business”, “The Monocle Guide to Cosy Homes”, “How to Make a Nation: A Monocle Guide” and now the “The Monocle Guide to Drinking & Dining”. It has also published a series of travel guides with Gestalten that includes London, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney and Honolulu.
At a time when some argue that the media industry in Thailand is, at best, evolving and, so far as print is concerned, seeing a decline in advertising revenues and the number of publications on the shelves, you must question whether property developer Sansiri knows something about media brands that the rest of the world has missed?