, the investment and business management firm of Kishore Biyani, has once again upped its holding in edutainment media firm Amar Chitra Katha Pvt Ltd (ACK). This follows a buyback offer made by the ACK which was accepted by some shareholders and the firm extinguished those shares.

Although Future Ventures did not invest afresh, its holding has bumped up to 65.84 per cent as a result of reduction in overall outstanding paid-up equity shares.

Public-listed Future Ventures India said that ACK had made an offer to buy back up to 70,457 equity shares from its shareholders and post-buyback, its holding increased from the previous 56 per cent. This comes almost one year after Future Ventures increased its holding to acquire a majority stake in the company. Last July, it had acquired 30 per cent stake‘from existing promoters’ of the company, thus increasing its shareholding to 56 per cent and making ACK its subsidiary.

In April 2011, Future Ventures had picked up a little over 26 per cent stake in ACK for Rs 37.5 crore, valuing the firm at Rs 140 crore. AIM-listed and India-focused private equity firm Elephant Capital is also an investor in ACK.

Future Ventures’ scrip last traded at Rs 9.05 a share on the BSE on Friday, up 0.44 per cent in a weak Mumbai market. Modelled after Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathway, the company had raised Rs 750 crore through its IPO in 2011, issuing shares at the face value of Rs 10 each.

ACK is into the business of education and entertainment, and publishes various children’s magazines and books, such as Tinkle, a comics monthly, and Amar Chitra Katha, a comics series.

The ACK story became interesting in 2007 when former McKinsey employee Samir Patil partnered with Shripal Morakhia to buy properties like Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle and Karadi Tales from India Book House. Morakhia is the founder of the institutional investment banking company SSKI (which was acquired by IDFC) and retail broking company Sharekhan (acquired by Citi Venture Capital).

In 2010, the company also entered the business of media distribution by acquiring India Book House, one of the largest distributors of books and magazines in India.

After the acquisition, it roped in Elephant Capital as investor, which led a funding round of Rs 27-28 crore in the company (it also included a personal investment from Gaurav Burman) in June 2010.

ACK has been focusing on diversifying its product offering to various media platforms including films, TV, Internet, mobile and other new media platforms.

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