Jagran snaps up NaiDunia for enterprise value of Rs 2.25 bn

Jagran snaps up NaiDunia for enterprise value of Rs 2.25 bn

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MUMBAI: Jagran Prakashan has snapped up NaiDunia Media Ltd. for an enterprise value of Rs 2.25 billion, continuing the wave of consolidation that the regional print media market is going through.

The all-cash deal will bolster Jagran‘s presence in the newspaper market in Central India. Jagran will also derive tax benefits from the accumulated losses at NaiDuniya, which has accumulated losses of Rs 2.25 billion. Estimates suggest that the tax benefit could be in the range of Rs 750-800 million.

Ending days of speculation, Jagran Prakashan Monday announced the acquisition of Indore-based Suvi Info Management, the parent of publishing house NaiDunia Media Limited. NaiDunia comes out with publications in Hindi and Urdu.

Ernst & Young was the exclusive advisor in the transaction.

Earlier, Jagran had acquired Mid Day, an afternoon tabloid, in 2010.

Jagran Prakashan chairman and managing director Mahendra Mohan Gupta said, "This was a logical market expansion that enables us to strengthen our presence in Central India. NaiDunia is a newspaper with a very strong team and has demonstrated editorial excellence over the last several decades. With the acquisition of Mid Day in 2010 and this acquisition, we are well on our way towards implementing our strategy of inorganic growth through mergers and acquisitions. On the one hand, this allows us to bring significant scale with much lesser investment and on the other hand, it saves long gestation period, which is typical to the print industry. The acquisition will enable us to leverage our existing network and allow significant operating synergies."

Has the acquisition price been too steep? "Had Jagran Prakashan planned a greenfield expansion in the region, the total cost could have run into at least Rs 3 billion. Hence, the buyout (at the net of tax price) does make sense as it gets a ready entry into the market with a revenue market share of 14 per cent. The acquisition does not excite us from a short term perspective, but we feel that the price paid (net of tax benefits) is inexpensive and should derive benefits in the medium to long term," a media analyst said.

Nai Dunia is the third largest read newspaper in Madhya Pradesh and the fourth largest in Chhattisgarh. Its expected revenues could be in the range of Rs 1.05 billion with an Ebitda loss of Rs 250 million (excluding losses from the closed NCR edition of Nai Dunia).

NaiDunia was launched in 1947 and has multiple editions published from Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Raipur and Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh. NaiDunia?s Delhi edition was shut down as part of this takeover. The Urdu edition is a weekly.

Will DB Corp be impacted? " We believe that DB Corp will not be impacted because of the entry of Jagran Prakashan from a short-to-medium term perspective. ?Patrika?, however, could be impacted as Jagran would become aggressive to win back the No. 2 slot in MP," the analyst said.

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