The Blackstone Group, one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms, has announced that it will be investing Rs 225 crore (approximately $50 million) in Jagran Media Network Pvt Ltd, which will hold majority share of Jagran Prakashan Ltd (JPL). JPL is one of India’s leading media and communications groups, with the group’s flagship brand, Dainik Jagran, believed to have a total readership of 54.6 million. Jagran Media Network has filed for necessary approvals for the investment with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.
In a prepared statement, Mahendra Mohan Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, JPL, said, “I am glad to partner with one of the largest private equity investors in the world. Their interest in sharing knowledge with the management and their understanding of the media industry will add value to JPL in many ways for the benefit of its shareholders. Our endeavour shall be to make the best use of their expertise and relationships in driving our top-most agenda of organic as well as inorganic growth and making all the stakeholders happier.”
Akhil Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, Blackstone Advisors India Pvt Lts, added here, “Print media in Indian languages is poised to experience significant growth in the coming years, driven by increasing personal consumption levels in the Tier II/III cities as well as rural India. JPL, with its leadership position in the Indian print media space and its excellent management team, is well placed to capitalise on this opportunity. Our experience in the media sector in India and globally will enable us to be value-added partners to management and strengthen the company’s leadership position.”
In a release issued, it was stated that Dainik Jagran, which publishes 37 editions and more than 200 sub-editions across 11 states, has maintained its position as India’s widest read newspaper for the last six years. JPL has evolved into a leading end-to-end media solutions provider with interests across newspapers, outdoor advertising, below the line solutions, Internet, magazines and mobile value added services.
In addition to Dainik Jagran, JPL publishes 12 editions of i-Next, the country’s first bilingual compact newspaper, and 23 editions of City Plus, a weekly English tabloid. JPL has established its position as a holistic media solutions provider with its outdoor advertising arm, Jagran Engage; below-the-line solutions arm, Jagran Solutions; mobile value added services, and its Internet foray with Yahoo India, with Jagran.com being one of the largest portals across all Indian languages.
Blackstone Group’s alternative asset management businesses include the management of private equity funds, real estate funds, funds of hedge funds, credit-oriented funds, collateralised loan obligation vehicles (CLOs) and closed-end mutual funds. The Group also provides various financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions advisory, restructuring and reorganisation advisory and fund placement services.