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Business Week seeks India dateline

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Business Week seeks India dateline

The $5.3 billion McGraw-Hill Companies, which owns Business Week, wants to publish the weekly magazine in India and has sought a licence from the government for this purpose.

“First, we would like to look for a local partner for printing and publishing Business Week in India carrying local stories,” Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the company, said today in Mumbai.

“At the next stage, we will like to pick up equity in an Indian media company,” McGraw III added. About 7,000 copies of BusinessWeek are sold in India.

“Once we start printing it here, we would like to carry more local stories and local advertisements,” he said.

BusinessWeek has a similar licensing arrangement in China where it has been publishing its Chinese edition for the past 17 years. The commerce ministry of China is its partner.

The Delhi-based CyberMedia group owned by Pradeep Gupta had, a few years ago, entered into an agreement with McGraw-Hill to publish an Indian edition of the magazine but the matter is still awaiting the information and broadcasting ministry’s clearance. It was then referred to a group of ministers in 2004.

Deven Sharma, executive vice-president, global strategy, McGraw-Hill Companies, said its application seeking a licence to print the magazine in India had been lying with the government for about a year.

After the Deccan Chronicle group started publishing The International Herald Tribune here, the government began reviewing the 120-odd applications to print and publish foreign magazines and newspapers in India.

A high-level McGraw-Hill team has been in India. The team has met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram ahead of the launch of the company's open offer for a majority stake in rating agency Crisil on April 6.

McGraw III sounded confident about the success of the offer. "We will be tremendously disappointed if it is not successful," he said, adding that there were "certain indications from the people" that the existing shareholders would respond to the offer.

He did not entirely rule out a hike in the open offer price but said the valuation was "very strong" and that he did not "see any change."

"We are entering into a process and we hope to get a majority stake," he said.

According to him, Crisil -- in which the company now holds about 10 per cent of equity -- is a "very important component in our global platform" and will play a major role in cross-border business.


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