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Deccan Chronicle open to selling Asian Age stake

25-November-2004
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Deccan Chronicle open to selling Asian Age stake

Deccan Chronicle Holdings (DCHL), the publisher of Deccan Chronicle, a leading English daily in Hyderabad, is not averse to offloading its stake in Asian Age Holdings Ltd.

DCHL holds 26 per cent stake in AAHL since its inception.

Asian Age Holdings controls the Asian Age newspaper which is published from New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

Deccan Chronicle Holdings chairman T Venkattaram Reddy said DCHL was open to selling its AAHL stake to Vijay Mallya if the buyer was interested. “If Mallya wants to buy the stake, DCHL could sell it to him,” he said.

Vijay Mallya, who controls the biggest chunk in the media company, holds stake in AAHL through group companies like McDowell & Company and UB Holdings Ltd.

Reddy was in Kolkata on Wednesday for the roadshow for the company’s initial public offering (IPO). DCHL is entering the capital market with a 100 per cent book built public issue of 80 lakh shares on November 25. The price band is Rs 162 to Rs 194.

The prospectus for the IPO indicated at a conflict of interests between Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age in future.

“Asian Age Holdings may compete with us in future and we cannot assure that Asian Age would not enter the markets addressed by Deccan Chronicle. There may consequently exist potential conflicts of interest between Asian Age and us,” the issue prospectus mentioned in the risk factors.

Describing the future plans of DCHL, Reddy said the company would invest an additional Rs 100 crore for its proposed editions in Chennai, Trichi and Coimbatore. “DCHL has already invested around Rs 100 crore. It needs additional Rs 100 crore for these editions,” he added.

According to DCHL chairman, the Chennai edition will be launched in February 2005.

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