Bennett, Coleman & Co, the owners of the Times of India group of publications, has incorporated a new company — Magz International Ltd — for its proposed joint venture with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for publishing speciality magazines. The company is floated with a paid up equity capital of Rs 5 lakh.
In contrast to the earlier proposal, which had envisaged a 50:50 joint venture, Bennett, Coleman & Co, in its application to the ministry of information and broadcasting for permission for foreign direct investment, has said that the foreign investor (BBC World Wide) proposes to acquire up to 74 per cent of the equity share capital of Magz International.
A copy of the application made by Magz International seeking foreign investment permission is in Business Standard’s possession.
In response to an e-mail sent to Peter Phippen, managing director (BBC Magazines), BBC World Wide, a senior company executive told Business Standard: “We are still awaiting regulatory approval and do not have anything to add at the moment.” BBC’s investment in Magz International would be through World Wide Channel Investments Ltd (Channel), a subsidiary of BBC World Wide Ltd. The venture plans to take over the publishing of the 29 magazines published by the Times group. These magazines include Femina, Filmfare, Femina Allure, JLT (Just Like That), IAGT (It’s A Guy Thing), Kidzone, Strategic Marketing, Shipping Journal and many other B2B titles. “Magz shall initially issue 50 per cent equity in favour of the channel, which has an option to acquire another 24 per cent of our equity share capital at a later date. As such this application is being made for permission to enable the Channel to own 74 per cent equity in Magz,” Magz International said in its application letter which has already been forwarded to Foreign Investment Promotion Board. Magz International has an authorised capital of Rs 2 crore (20 lakh equity shares of Rs 10 each).