Bennett, Coleman & Co (BCCL) has offloaded its entire 8.55 per cent stake in Mid Day Multimedia. Mid Day informed the Bombay Stock Exchange of the sale, which happened on June 16, 2005. In March, BCCL had offloaded 13,88,313 shares of Mid Day in the open market.
BCCL had picked up a 8.55 per cent stake for Rs 12 crore in October 2004 through its financial company Ban Hem Financial Investment Consultancy. J M Morgan Stanley had brokered that deal. Post this sale, Ban Hem now holds just 0.1 per cent.
A senior executive with BCCL, said: “It is part of our treasury operations.” Mid Day stock closed at Rs 64.15 on Wednesday.
BCCL sources claimed that the group’s new product Mumbai Mirror’s performance was bound to affect the Mid Day stock and, hence, the decision to exit.
Manajit Ghoshal, chief financial officer at Mid Day, however, said Mumbai Mirror has failed.
“Mumbai Mirror’s circulation is around 20,000 and in no way it can affect our paper’s market share. We have reports that show that the circulation figures of Mid Day have increased by 30 per cent over the last year,” Ghoshal said.
He said BCCL had in the past tried to buyout Mid Day but was not successful. “We are happy with the recent development as we prefer to compete with BCCL in the market and not in the boardroom,” he added.