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ABP group puts Businessworld on the block for sale

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 02, 2013 13:56 hrs
​Business world

​Media behemoth Anandabazar Patrika group (ABP) has put its business magazine Businessworld on the block.

As of now, talks are on to sell the fortnightly magazine, failing which, a close down is not ruled out by the management.

According to a top official of ABP, a deal could materialize by the end of the year, but if it doesn’t work out then shutting down the magazine is not ruled out.

The two-decade old offering from ABP's stable was recently turned into a fortnightly from being the country's only weekly business magazine. Employee strength of the magazine stands around 51.

“We have been trying to sell it for quite some time. Talks are on now, as well,” the top official of the ABP management told Business Standard on the condition of anonymity.

The magazine market in India has been reeling under pressure especially due to the digital overdrive taken by most media companies. The magazine market in India is about Rs 1,650 crore out of which Rs 400 crore pie is of business magazines. ABP has an undisputed dominance in the eastern India with English daily The Telegraph and Bengali news daily Anandabazar Patrika. ABP group has seven other periodicals apart from Businessworld.

When contacted ABP MD & CEO, D D Purkaystha declined to comment on the matter. ABP group has been trying to find a buyer for quite some time but inadequate profitability in the magazine business has so far been unfruitful.

Amit Patil, media & capital good analyst at Angel Broking, said the magazines' business never picked up in India. “Magazines never picked up in India in terms of profitability. Increasing cost of newsprint and influx of social media is resulting into no interest in magazines,” he said by adding that going forward only few players would be able to survive in the long run with a extremely niche content.

Costs have gone up by over 10% in while growth in the segment has been muted at seven%. It may be noted recently Outlook group also decided to shut three of its magazines?Marie Clare, Geo and People. Industry data also indicates that business magazines have simply not grown as fast as other genres. Total readership of magazines stand near about 83 million and business magazines have a readership of about 3.63 million.

This is very much in line with global trends as a global report shows The Economist, The Atlantic and The New Yorker are doing well in the new media. Going digital has helped in generating more revenues for these brands and they are being read more on new devices and via apps.


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