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Blackstone exits Jagran Prakashan holding firm, sells stake to promoters

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-06-2017 Swaraj Singh Dhanjal

Jagran Prakashan Ltd (JPL), the publisher of Dainik Jagran, India’s most-read newspaper, on Tuesday said its promoters have purchased the entire stake held by private equity investor Blackstone Group in the company.

Blackstone had held a 12.82% stake in JPL’s holding company Jagran Media Network Investment Pvt. Ltd, the company said in a filing to the stock exchanges. The company did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.

Blackstone had invested Rs225 crore in the holding company in 2010.

The buyback was conducted over two tranches—one in March and then in April, the statement said.

Jagran Media Network Investment holds a 60.63% stake in JPL.

The move comes amid the private equity investor’s attempts to exit mature investments across its portfolio. Earlier last month, Blackstone sold a 7.55% stake in fragrance maker SH Kelkar and Co. Ltd for around Rs334 crore.

Blackstone had divested a 10% stake in the company when it went public in 2015.

In April, the American investment firm sold its decade-old investment in textile firm Gokaldas Exports to Mathew Cyriac, the former co-head of Blackstone’s private equity business in India.

Cyriac, along with a few others, bought a 39.96% stake in Gokaldas Exports from Blackstone for Rs58.61 crore. The exit came at a huge haircut for Blackstone, which had invested around Rs676 crore in the company for a 70% stake at Rs275 a share in 2007.

Last year, Blackstone fully exited construction firm NCC, in which it had invested in 2007.

Blackstone’s portfolio firm Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd had filed for an initial public offer in 2015. The share sale would have created an exit path for Blackstone; however, Nuziveedu Seeds did not go ahead with the listing.

HT Media Ltd, the publisher of Hindustan Times and Mint, competes with Jagran Prakashan in some markets.

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