Blackstone follows INM into Indian newspaper venture
BLACKSTONE Group LP, one of the world's largest private-equity firms, is investing in a Hindi-language broadsheet to benefit from a surge in readership in India.
It plans to invest 2.25 billion rupees (€40m) in Jagran Media Network Pvt, according to a joint statement issued yesterday. A unit of Jagran Media prints Dainik Jagran, which is the world's most widely read newspaper with a readership of 54.6 million. Independent News and Media (INM) has already generated €64m from a share disposal in the same Indian newspaper group. It continues to hold a 5.7pc stake in the company, which is valued at €40m.
India, the world's fastest-growing major economy after China, may expand by 8.2pc in the 12 months from April 1 -- up from an estimated 7.2pc this year -- according to forecasts from India's finance ministry..
"India, and probably China, are the only countries where readership of newspapers is growing. We are moving from the have-nots to the haves," said Akhil Gupta, Blackstone's India chairman.
Dainik Jagran prints 37 editions and more than 200 sub- editions across 11 Indian states.