The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has instructed the holding company of the news portal Tehelka.Com, Buffalo Networks, not to enter the print and publishing business. The observation comes as part of a background note prepared for an FIPB meeting, which was considering Buffalo Networks’ request to allot 6 per cent of its equity to an NRI investor from Singapore.
The Buffalo Networks proposal was considered at an FIPB meeting held on August 20. The background note also indicates that the website Tehelka.Com was originally owned by a Mumbai-based company called UD and MD Agencies.
According to the documents before the FIPB, Buffalo Networks had received permission for equity participation by NRIs in September 2000. However, the company sent a revised application because of an error in the original application form.
The revised application states that Buffalo Networks had taken over a Mumbai-based company called UD & MD Agencies. As a result of this takeover, Buffalo Networks, the application to the FIPB stated, had acquired a news and views portal called Tehelka.Com.
The application also stated that Buffalo intended to undertake a number of activities including print media. The FIPB’s comments on print media is in this connect since FDI is not permitted in print media.
According to the company officials, the company never expressed an intention for getting into print business.