Newspaper publisher Jagran Prakashan Ltd has appointed private equity giant Blackstone Group’s India head Akhil Gupta and its managing director Amit Dixit as additional directors on its board. The appointments come after Blackstone completed Rs 225 crore investment in the promoters’ privately held holding company, Jagran Media Network Investment Pvt Ltd.

“Jagran Prakashan Ltd has informed the BSE that Akhilesh K. Gupta and Amit Dixit are, hereby, appointed as additional directors of the company as per the decision of the board in the meeting held on October 22, 2011, subject to post-facto approval of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,” said Jagran in a filing to the BSE.

In July, the promoters of Jagran consolidated their holding in the listed company under a privately held firm, Jagran Media Network Investment Pvt Ltd, thus completing the second leg of their transaction with the private equity giant Blackstone. The promoter group entity, which was earlier called Jagran Media Network Pvt Ltd, had announced in April 2010 that it would raise Rs 225 crore or $51 million for 12 per cent stake from Blackstone to consolidate its business and look at acquisition opportunities.

Akhil Gupta, a senior managing director and chairman of Blackstone India, was CEO of corporate development for Reliance Industries Ltd and Reliance Infocomm Ltd before joining the PE major in 2005. Gupta began his career at Hindustan Lever, India’s largest multi-national corporation. Amit Dixit, a managing director at the Private Equity Group, was a Principal at Warburg Pincus where he executed a variety of transactions for more than five-and-a-half years.


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