Jagran Prakashan Acquires NaiDunia

2 Apr, 2012

Jagran Prakashan has acquired NaiDunia Media Pvt Ltd, by buying the publishing house's parent company Suvi Info Management (Indore) Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount. The media firm, promoted by Vinay Chhajlani, publishes the Hindi newspaper Nai Dunia from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

NaiDunia currently does not have a full-fledged digital news property but operates a separate site which features the e-paper or the digital replica of its print edition. We have noticed that this e-paper site is not monetised 'aggressively', but it might change under the new ownership.

The newspaper (Nai Dunia), which has an average readership of 1.64 million, was started in 1947 and is published from Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh and from Bilaspur and Raipur in Chhattisgarh. But this is quite puny compared to Dainik Jagran, which has an average readership of 16.41 million.

The latest financials of NaiDunia Media is not immediately available but it had been in deep losses only a few years ago. The firm saw its revenues rise almost threefold between FY2005 and FY2009 to Rs 74 crore but clocked a cumulative net loss of over Rs 100 crore in the same period, according to VCCEdge, the financial research platform of VCCircle.

Mahendra Mohan Gupta, chairman and managing director of Jagran Prakashan, said, "This was a logical market expansion that enables us to strengthen our presence in central India. Nai Dunia is a newspaper with a very strong team and has demonstrated editorial excellence over several decades.

"On the one hand, this allows us to bring significant scale with much lesser investment and on the other hand, it saves a long gestation period, which is typical to the print industry. The acquisition will enable us to leverage our existing network and allow significant operating synergies," he added.

Ernst & Young was the exclusive advisor in the transaction.

In May 2010 Jagran had acquired the publishing business of Mid-Day Multimedia for around Rs 173.5 crore in a stock transaction. This was soon after Blackstone struck a deal to invest Rs 225 crore in Jagran Media Network Pvt Ltd, which eventually became the holding company of the public-listed Jagran Prakashan Ltd.

Jagran reported a total income of Rs 324.03 crore for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2011, with a PAT of Rs 41.30 crore (operating profits down by 26.27 per cent YoY to Rs 85.12 crore) and digital revenues excluding advertisement revenues at Rs 2.32 crore.

It has been observed that the group has been pushing its digital segment of late. Jagran's digital revenues increased to Rs 2.32 crore at 15.55 per cent year-on-year from Rs 2 crore in the last quarter.

In 2010, Dainik Jagran tied up with Yahoo! for Jagran.com to help the local language newspapers reach a wider audience and connect with the Indians globally. It also owns Khojle, a post-and-search free and online local classifieds, a reverse auction portal Jeetle and also a mobile VAS company called J9 Ventures, which offers iPhone and Android apps for its news properties.