The Times of India Group has inked a Business Cooperation and Arrangement Agreement (BCAA) with Sandesh Ltd, publishers of Gujarati daily, Sandesh, under which both companies have agreed to cooperate in certain areas of their respective businesses, including advertising sales, distribution and printing.
The Times of India group has also picked up 12 per cent preferential equity of Sandesh. This is fresh equity and would not dilute the promoters’ stake in Sandesh. The agreement was signed on October 6, 2006.
The board of directors of Sandesh Ltd has cleared the proposal, which has been forwarded to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as well as the Bombay Stock Exchange for their respective clearances.
Falgunbhai Patel, Chairman and Managing Director, Sandesh Ltd, said, “We believe the Indian print media is going through an evolution and it is the right time to capitalise on the synergies between strong regional players and national players.” He further said, “This is a unique partnership which would benefit both the groups and create shareholder value. This BCAA would draw strength from the competencies of both groups, allowing us to work together to competently grow an exciting and nascent market.”
Parthiv Patel, MD, Sandesh Ltd, said, “The plans are to work with the ToI Group through the BCAA in a manner which benefits both the groups and increases market presence.”
Vineet Jain, MD, BCCL (ToI Group’s parent company), said, “I am confident that this BCAA will go a long way towards meeting the new aspirations of readers in Gujarat and create even more value for advertisers.”
Sandesh has a widespread presence in Gujarat with five editions and a readership base of over 45 lakh.