Express buys out 10% of Mid-Day


MUMBAI: It is a deal that may have been struck at the right time. The Indian Express has bought 10 per cent equity in Mid-Day Multimedia Ltd for Rs 255.4 million, ahead of the launch of Hindustan Times in Mumbai.


The promoters of Mid-day ( through companies Ferari Investments and Trading and Meridian Holding and Leasing) on Thursday intimated the company that they have agreed to sell 4256628 shares of the company at a price of Rs 60 per share to The Indian Express. The post transaction holding of the promoters would be 53.6 per cent.

Earlier, the Times of India had shown interest in acquiring stake in Mid-Day which runs the popular city tabloid, but negotiations fell through over price. Subsequently, a group company of Bennett, Coleman and Co Ltd (publisher of the Times of India) picked up a 7.5 per cent equity stake in Mid-Day from the open market.



The recent transaction could set the ground for exploring areas of mutual co-operation as both Indian Express and Mid-Day face stiff threat from emerging competition. In a turf that has been dominated by the Times of India Group, there are other print publications planning entry. The buzz is that Zee in partnership with Dainik Bhaskar is eyeing a newspaper launch in Mumbai; so is The Hindu, if the rumours are to be believed.

Incidentally, The Indian Express is planning to raise an initial public offering (IPO) to meet its fund requirements.

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