Yellow Pages and special interest magazine publishing major, Infomedia India Ltd has announced its plans to acquire International Typesetting and Composition (ITC) for a total consideration of $12 million. ITC, a Noida based company, with a front-end in Fort Lauderdale, USA, is in the business of providing publishing services to book publishers around the world.
Following its recent acquisition of the UK-based Keyword Group Ltd, and Bangalore-based Cepha Imaging Systems, the new acquisition is expected to further consolidate Infomedia’s position in the burgeoning publishing services industry with a presence in both the UK and the US.
Said Prakash Iyer, Managing Director, Infomedia, “We had identified publishing services and e-publishing as a growth area and feel Infomedia is ideally placed to exploit opportunities in this high-growth segment. ITC complements our earlier acquisitions perfectly. We obtain a front-end in the US, an excellent roster of clients, and a world-class facility in Noida.”
ITC, employs about 275 people, with expected revenues for the year estimated at $4 million. Infomedia will take an 83 per cent stake and buyout the balance by June 2007. The current management team will continue to be in place, facilitating the transition.
“We are creating a strong, new future for Infomedia, complementing our solid domestic businesses in Yellow Pages and special interest publishing, with an international presence that makes us preferred partners for publishers worldwide. Publishing was one of the earliest verticals to initiate off shoring to India, and is an industry that offers ample scope for consolidating, scaling up and creating value at the high-end,” added Iyer.
He further said, “The ITC acquisition, coupled with our earlier acquisition of Cepha and Keyword, will offer Infomedia a solid platform for growth. With over 500 employees across two locations in India, with front-end customer-facing offices in the UK and the US and a roster of clients that includes some of the biggest and most respected names in the publishing business worldwide, we are excited about the opportunities ahead of us.”
Infomedia’s experience in the Yellow Pages business and familiarity with printing and publishing have uniquely positioned it to partner international publishers and offer them the India cost advantage. India’s talent pool, coupled with Infomedia’s newly acquired global footprint would enable it to scale up and emerge as a dominant player in the Indian publishing BPO space.
Globally, publishers are facing challenging times, on account of the global slowdown in the early nineties and the onslaught of the Internet, which created havoc in their business models. Consequently the industry went through a spate of mergers and acquisitions. The publishing industry, which was till then quite fragmented, underwent consolidation throughout the eighties and nineties, creating giant conglomerates in the process.
Some of the dominant publishers today include Reed Elsiever, Walter Kluwer, Thomson Learning, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin, John Wiley, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Taylor & Francis, BBC, Harper Collins, Blackwell, Encyclopedia Britannica, MacMillan, Prentice Hall & Pearson.
These conglomerates are keen to outsource both low-end as well high-end publishing works to India. “We expect this vertical to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years, as there is a long list of satisfied clients from the US and UK. The trend would only increase in the coming years. They originally came for price, but they’ve stayed for quality,” said Iyer.
Infomedia also recently inked a 51-49 joint venture with Reed Business, a member of the $9 billion Reed Elsevier group to bring some of its popular titles to India.