The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX), announced today that it will be investing INR 2250 million (approximately USD 50 million) in Jagran Media Network Private Limited, which will hold majority share of Jagran Prakashan Limited ("JPL"). JPL (NSE: JAGRAN.NS, BSE: JAGRAN.BO) is India's leading media and communications group, with the group's flagship brand, Dainik Jagran, being the most widely read newspaper in the world with a total readership of 54.6 million. Jagran Media Network Private Limited will file for necessary approvals for the investment with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board ("FIPB") today.
Dainik Jagran, which publishes 37 editions and more than 200 sub-editions across 11 states, has maintained its position as India's widest read newspaper for the last six years. JPL has evolved into a leading end-to-end media solutions provider with interests across newspapers, outdoor advertising, below the line solutions, internet, magazines and mobile value added services.
Commenting on the association, Mahendra Mohan Gupta - Chairman and Managing Director of JPL, said: "I am glad to partner with one of the largest private equity investors in the world. Their interest in sharing knowledge with the management and their understanding of the media industry will add value to JPL in many ways for the benefit of
its shareholders. Our endeavour shall be to make the best use of their expertise and relationships in driving our top-most agenda of organic as well as inorganic growth and making all the stake holders happier."
Akhil Gupta - Chairman and Managing Director of Blackstone Advisors India Private Limited, said: "Print media in Indian languages is poised to experience significant growth in the coming years, driven by increasing personal consumption levels in the Tier II/III cities as well as rural India. JPL, with its leadership position in the Indian print media space and its excellent management team, is well placed to capitalize on this opportunity. Our experience in the media sector in India and globally will enable us to be value-added partners to management and strengthen the company's leadership position."
In addition to Dainik Jagran, JPL publishes 12 editions of I-Next, India's first bilingual compact newspaper, and 23 editions of City Plus, a weekly English tabloid. JPL has established its position as a holistic media solutions provider with its outdoor advertising arm, Jagran Engage, below-the-line solutions arm Jagran Solutions, mobile value added services, and its internet foray with Yahoo India, with Jagran.com being the largest portal across all Indian languages.