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Deccan Chronicle buys 67% in Asian Age

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Deccan Chronicle buys 67% in Asian Age

Deccan Chronicle Holdings, publisher and owner of Deccan Chronicle, has acquired 67 per cent in Asian Age Holdings, which owns The Asian Age, for Rs 17.10 crore, scaling up its stake to 90 per cent.

The acquisition values The Asian Age at Rs 25.52 crore. UB group Chairman Vijay Mallya will hold the remaining 10 per cent.

T Vinayak Ravi Reddy, managing director of Deccan Chronicle Holdings, said MJ Akbar, a promoter of Asian Age Holdings, would continue to be associated with The Asian Age as editor-in-chief, even though he has sold his 26 per cent stake.

Besides Akbar, Deccan Chronicle bought out other shareholders, including United Breweries (23 per cent), Zee Telefilms (15 per cent) and T Venkattram Reddy (3 per cent), chairman of Deccan Chronicle Holdings.

On the acquisition, PK Iyer, executive director of Deccan Chronicle, said: “The company will now have two brands -- Deccan Chronicle and The Asian Age. This will give it national footprint.”

The company has posted an increase of 46 per cent in its net profit at Rs 5.88 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2005, compared with Rs 4.02 crore during the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

Its net sales stood at Rs 47.14 crore, up 48 per cent for the current quarter against Rs 31.84 crore reported in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Buoyed with the result and the strategic addition of The Asian Age, Deccan Chronicle has declared a dividend of 10 per cent.

The company's stock opened the day at Rs 201.90 rose to a day's high of 208.70 before closing the day at 195.80, down by 2 per cent.


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