ACK Media, which owns the Amar Chitra Katha brand, has acquired India Book House (IBH) to emerge as one of the largest integrated publishing and distribution firms in India. This buyout will help ACK Media to bring more content, better distribution and delivery capabilities for family entertainment.

ACK Media is also looking to raise nearly Rs100 crore in the next 18 months to expand its portfolio of products and promote itself in India and abroad.

IBH was established in 1952 for the import and distribution of books and magazines. It has one of India’s widest distribution networks with 10 branches across the country. ACK Media plans to grow the business by creating more children’s content in English and regional languages to leverage the IBH pipeline, acquiring new publishing partners, adding new products categories (e.g., merchandise, home video), deepening the network in 50+ cities, and entering the direct-to-consumer market in a big way.

Samir Patil, CEO and Founder, ACK Media, said, “This acquisition is essential for our overall strategy of expanding the children’s media category to all forms - print, video, games, toys, merchandise, and other products. We are keen to have a direct relationship with the end customer and this is one step forward.”

Ashish Goel, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, ACK Media, will be the Managing Director of the new entity. He said, "The reality of the market place is that while media consumption is increasing, there are very few ways to effectively reach a paying audience. This is true not just in the Tier 2, 3 towns but also in the metros. We will invest aggressively in the business to fill this gap by creating an IT-enabled, customer-centric distributor that can reach an unmatched number of cities and vendors in India.”

“The new entity would have a robust infrastructure of 10 offices in major metro cities across India, a distribution network that includes over 2,500 stores and over 22,000 vendors, thus allowing us to penetrate not just the top 12 cities, but the top 400 cities in India in a very meaningful manner,” he further added.

“With an additional investment of Rs 90-100 crore, our objective is to take this figure, over the next three-four years, to the Rs 500-crore mark,” said Samir Patil.

He further added that the money will be pumped into four main growth areas. The first of these will be expanding the reach of the firm’s content and products. ACK Media will also look to expand its portfolio of characters and brands, both organically and through acquisitions. “We are hoping to generate Rs125 crore in revenue in 2010-2011”, said Mr. Goel.

Some of its popular brands including Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle, Karadi Tales and well-known proprietary characters like Suppandi are part of ACK Media. The company develops products for multiple platforms including print, home video, broadcast television, films, mobile and online services. ACK Media is headquartered in Mumbai, has a design studio in Bengaluru and a subsidiary in Chennai.

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