Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Slimes of India no more

This news (requires subscription) from Business World makes me very happy

...In publishing, the same fear has a different colour. The launch of DNA and Hindustan Times in Mumbai probably did not shake Bennett, Coleman and Company (BCCL) as much as the HT Media IPO has. In August this year, HT Media raised about Rs 400 crore, catapulting it among the top ten media IPOs in Asia over 2004 and 2005. This follows two rounds of private equity funding and gives HT Media a valuation of Rs 2,495 crore or over 90 times earnings.

This is very worrying for the Rs 1,808-crore BCCL, India's largest media company. For decades, its biggest strength has been its cash reserves. BCCL has used it to batter Hindustan Times in Delhi, or bleed rivals in other cities. For decades, nobody could match its brute cash power. Now as investors fall in love with media and entertainment (M&E), the money wall is crumbling...

We moved from Indian Express to Hindustan Times, some while ago. I still love IE, but no one can deny that it is a boring newspaper. HT had a great launch offer and so we jumped on it.

I found HT to be far better than TOI, in terms of coverage and depth of analysis. I also think Mumbai Mirror is a good newspaper, but that's just to a part of pre-emptive step from TOI to kill competition. I do hope through that Mumbai Mirror lasts beyond the first round of attack.

The point is TOI has thrived and cannibalised its competitors based on solid financial muscle, so HT having more in its cash kitty is more than welcome news. I hope TOI bites the dust on its home turf.

My earlier rant here
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