NEW DELHI: Jagran TV Pvt. Ltd, part of the Rs 5 billion Kanpur-based Jagran Prakashan, which publishes Dainik Jagran newspaper, has decided to offload about 25 per cent stake in its TV venture to a Mauritius-based fund.
The television company, which manages the affairs of the recently-launched Hindi news channel, called Channel 7, has applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) seeking permission for this foreign investment.
According to government sources, Jagran TV Pvt Ltd is seeking permission to offload 25.7 per cent equity stake to New Vernon Bharat Ltd, a Mauritius based fund.
The size of the deal is approximately Rs 300 million. FIPB is yet to take a view on this proposal that is aiming to bring in additional investment in the TV venture, which has been started with an initial investment of about Rs 700 million.
According to Indian government guidelines, news channels uplinking from this country cannot offload more than 26 per cent equity stake to foreign companies or investors.
Channel 7 from the media group Jagran went formally on air early April, promising different treatment to its programming tilted towards non-fiction and hopped on to a DTH platform at the same time to increase its reach, which is supplemented by the cable networks it is managing to ride on.
The launch of Channel 7 marks the entry of Dainik Jagran, a dominant print medium player, into the TV broadcasting arena. The free-to-air Hindi satellite channel is also confident of securing a presence in 28 million households, across 300 cities in the first month of operations itself.
The promoters of the channel include Mahendra Mohan Gupta, managing editor and chairman Jagran Prakashan Pvt Ltd and MD Jagran TV; Sanjay Gupta, editor and director Jagran Prakashan Pvt Ltd and Shailesh Gupta, director, marketing, Jagran Prakashan Pvt Ltd.
The Jagran group, according to media reports, is also believed to be planning a foray into the den of another print medium powerhouse, Dainik Bhaskar, in Madhya Pradesh.
Jagran Prakashan has already roped in a foreign partner for the newspaper business, announced earlier. The foreign investor is The Irish Independent, which picked up a 26 per cent stake in the Indian media company.