VGI snatches 90% stake in Rabbit Card

VGI snatches 90% stake in Rabbit Card

Commuters use the Rabbit Card to travel via BTS Skytrain. VGI Global Media yesterday announced it would buy a majority stake of the Rabbit Card operator as a means of entering the e-payment business. (Photo by WICHAN CHAROENKIATPAKUL)
Commuters use the Rabbit Card to travel via BTS Skytrain. VGI Global Media yesterday announced it would buy a majority stake of the Rabbit Card operator as a means of entering the e-payment business. (Photo by WICHAN CHAROENKIATPAKUL)

SET-listed VGI Global Media Plc, a provider of media space for skytrains, has announced its acquisition of Rabbit Card from BTS Group for 1.95 billion baht in a bid to strengthen its media service business.

The VGI board approved the purchase of a 90% stake in Bangkok Smartcard System Co (BSS) and 90% in BSS Holdings (BSSH), which operates the Rabbit Card business. The transaction is expected to be completed by March 31 next year.

VGI's chief executive Surachet Bamrungsuk said the acquisition will allow VGI to enter the e-payment business. The Rabbit Card is a payment tool for travelling on the skytrain and also allows users to purchase products from food and beverage retailers.

Moreover, VGI will acquire an e-wallet business through Rabbit Line Pay, a function embedded in the most popular instant messaging application Line, which boasts 33 million users.

In the future, VGI will allow its Rabbit Card users to buy products and services as well as pay skytrain fares online.

The Rabbit Card business also entails other online businesses such as Rabbit Internet, including Rabbit Daily, which provides lifestyle content through a web portal. There is also Rabbit Finance, a leading online financial products comparison website previously known as ASK Hanuman.

"The Rabbit Card business will be a main driver for VGI to become a data-centric media hypermarket as it will help VGI utilise the data analytic capabilities of Rabbit Card to enhance its innovative media service," he said.

Mr Surachet said the move is expected to widen VGI's consumer base to 25 million people a day, which can increase revenue from its media business from 3.9 billion baht last year to 7.3 billion baht over the next several years.

"This investment is a strategic move to develop traditional means of advertising by raising the effectiveness and measurement abilities of ad campaigns," he said.

VGI also wants to expand its online media services in response to consumers' changing lifestyles in the digital world.

The Rabbit Card database has more than 7.2 million users, offering opportunities to conduct data analytics to support VGI's sales, media production and planning.

Currently, VGI manages media at skytrain stations and on trains, as well as at office buildings, residential buildings and airports.

Its recent acquisition of shares in Master Ad Plc has allowed VGI to consolidate and further expand its out-of-home media network.

VGI shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 6.60 baht, up 35 satang, in trade worth 734 million baht.

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