Here is a list of some recent Publishing news in the M&E space.
Worldwide Media now wholly owned subsidiary of BCCL
BCCL, which was a 50% partner in WWM, a JV between the BCCL Group and BBC Worldwide in the former’s magazine division, has bought the remaining 50% shares owned by BBC Worldwide.
This makes WWM a wholly owned subsidiary of BCCL. WWM publishes magazines such as Femina, Filmfare, Hello, BBC TopGear, BBC Good Homes, BBC Knowledge, Trends, What to Wear, Grazia and Lonely Planet, among others. BCCL’s arrangement with BBC Worldwide will continue through its titles, including BBC TopGear, Lonely Planet and BBC Knowledge. BBC Worldwide, will, in all likelihood, retain editorial control of some of its magazines6.
Henderson sells 1.84% in HT Media
PE firm Henderson Equity Partners has made a partial exit by selling a 1.84% stake in HT Media Ltd. for INR712 million. Henderson still holds a stake of around 4.2% in HT Media. It had invested a total of INR1.2 billion in the latter in 2004 and sold a 5% stake of INR1.3 billion during HT Media’s IPO in 2005. It has been reducing its stake in the publishing house since last year. With this current stake sale, Henderson Equity Partners has secured INR3.2 billion on its investment.
The company’s remaining stake of around 4.2 % is valued at INR1.6 billion, taking the total exit value to more than INR4.8 billion7.
Bertelsmann Group buys 78.7% stake in MaXposure India
European magazine publisher G+J, a part of the Bertelsmann Group, has acquired a 78.7 % stake in MaXposure Media Group India. The remaining 21.3% is held by the group’s founder Prakash Johari, who will continue as its CEO and MD. His brother and co-founder Vikas Johari will be appointed COO. G+J publishes almost 500 magazines and provides digital offerings in more than 30 countries. In addition to publishing, MaXposure also provides media representation services to publishing houses8.
Warbug Pincus exits DB Corp
PE firm Warburg Pincus has exited its investment in DB Corp Ltd. by selling its 3.6% stake in the market for INR1.6 billion. Warburg Pincus invested in the publisher of Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar in 2006 and sold its entire stake, held by its entity Cliffrose Investment, in a single bulk deal at a share price of INR237.5. It made a partial exit during DB Corp’s IPO in late 2009.
With the current stake sale, Warburg has secured a return of INR2.7 billion on its investment of INR1.5 billion in DB Corp9.
PE firm Blackstone invests INR2.25 billion in Jagran Prakashan
PE firm Blackstone GPV Capital Partners of Mauritius has invested INR2.3 billion in Jagran Prakashan’s (JPL) holding company, Jagran Media Network Investment (JMNIPL). JMNIPL, a company that is 100% owned by JPL’s promoters and their families, owns a 59.5 % stake in the latter. JPL had announced in April last year that it would raise INR2.3 billion from Blackstone to consolidate its business and look proactively at acquisition opportunities. FIPB had approved the investment in September 201010.
DB Corp to buy 60% in Divya Prabhat
Media company DB Corp, which owns publications including Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, Saurashtra Samachar and Business Bhaskar, is set to acquire 60% of the paid-up capital of Divya Prabhat Publications for INR12 million. This is currently held by Sudhir Agarwal, one of the promoters of DB Corp. Divya Prabhat Publications publishes Prabhat Kiran, an afternoon newspaper in Indore, Madhya Pradesh11.
6 “Worldwide Media becomes wholly-owned subsidiary of BCCL,” afaqs!, 3 August 2011, via Dow Jones Factiva © 2011 Banyan Netfaqs Pvt. Ltd.
7 “Henderson equity partners sell 1.84% In HT Media,” Datamonitor, 2 August 2011, via Dow Jones Factiva © 2011 Datamonitor Ltd.
8 “Bertelsmann Group buys 78.7% stake in MaXposure India,” Indiantelevision, 4 August 2011, via Dow Jones Factiva © 2011 Indiantelevision.com.
9 “Warbug sells 1.84% stake in HT Media for Rs 71 cr,” VC Circle website, http://www.vccircle.com/500/news/henderson-sells-184-in-htmedia-for-rs-71cr, accessed on 12 August.
10 “Blackstone invests INR2.25 bn in Jagran Prakashan,” Indiantelevision, 21 July 2011, via Dow Jones Factiva © 2011 Indiantelevision.com.
11 “DB Corp Q1 net dips 15%, to buy 60% in Divya Prabhat,” Business Standard, 21 July 2011, via Dow Jones Factiva © 2011 Business Standard Ltd.