04 December, 2020

A Distress Sale

The group sells its premium product, Business Standard, to KMF

A Distress Sale

THE rumours finally ended on January 5. On that day, Business Standard (BS) carried on its front page an announcement about the new board of directors in charge of the daily. The Ananda Bazar Pat-rika (ABP) group had sold Business Standard Ltd (BSL) to Kotak Mahindra Finance (KMF).

ABP had created history for itself. For the first time, a publication changed hands from the Calcutta-based group. That too BS, the product on which ABP, in the last five years, had lavished enormous money and attention. "It was a business decision," was the cryptic reason Shobha Subrahmaniam, executive director, ABP, gave Outlook for the sale. "Perhaps the ABP bosses saw good business sense in the dictum 'if you cannot run it, sell it'," says the media chief of a leading ad agency, "while your product is still alive." Though unquestionably a huge editorial success, BS failed to click in the market. In hometown Calcutta, it lost out to The Economic Times (ET). Its Delhi foray did not pay off, and its new Mumbai edition may have made...



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