Financial Times has finally signed the long-awaited agreement with Business Standard, confirming its 13.85 per cent equity stake in the business daily. Newspaper officials inform that the stake values up to Rs 14.1 crore.
This deal marks the first major investment in an Indian newspaper by a foreign media. FT’s intention to purchase a stake in Business Standard was first announced in September 2003. However, both the entities have been co-operating for over 10 years through various initiatives including publication of FT’s editorial content in Business Standard, sourced from FT’s global network.
Among the leading corporate investors in Business Standard, there are Kotak Mahindra Group and Great Eastern Shipping. The paper, however, continues to operate as a separate entity with Financial Times represented on the board.
Business Standard is published from seven centres in India. Since yesterday, June 22, all BS editions are carrying a dedicated page for FT contents from Monday to Saturday and the content is also appearing on the BS website.
John Riddling, Editor and Publisher, Financial Times, Asia, says, “We are delighted to finalise our partnership with Business Standard. India is an important market for FT. Growing our brand and business in India is the next step in the evolution of our Asian edition. The agreement reflects our global strategy of investing in the leading titles in local markets and continuing to promote the FT brand at the same time.”
TN Ninan, Editor and Publisher, Business Standard, says, “BS is delighted to have FT as a shareholder and partner. This is the first strategic investment in an Indian newspaper by a global publishing leader and we will offer our readers the very best of international business content by using FT news reports and analytical articles.”