Penguin Random House acquires ABP Group’s stake in Indian arm for $8.5M

Penguin Random House, one of the biggest international publishing houses, has acquired Ananda Publishers’ stake in Penguin Books India. Ananda Publishers is part of the Anandabazar Patrika Group (ABP).

Penguin Books India was a joint venture between Penguin Publishing Company, a UK-based publishing house and ABP. In this JV, Penguin UK held 55 per cent stake and the rest 45 per cent was held by ABP. Now Penguin Books UK has acquired the stake held by ABP Group.

The company received approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board, the nodal body monitoring foreign investment in India, to acquire 45 per cent in the joint venture early this month and the deal recently got closed. Penguin brought in Rs 55 crore ($8.5 million) as part of the stake purchase.

Delhi-based law firm Obhan and Associates represented Penguin India in the transaction.

Penguin began publishing in India 25 years ago with six books. The company now publishes more than 250 new titles every year and has a backlist of over 3,000 titles.

It is also the distributor partner in the region for books published by several  publishing houses, including A&C Black, Atlantic Books, Bloomsbury, Faber & Faber, Granta, Hay House, Icon, Kyle Cathie, Marshall Cavendish, Mira, Quercus, Sterling, Constable & Robinson, Oneworld and Zubaan.

In July this year, there was a worldwide merger of Penguin and Random House to create the biggest book publisher in the world.

For ABP Group, this is the second such asset divestment. Last week it sold its business magazine Businessworld to Anurag Batra of Exchange4media and investment banker Vikram Jhunjhunwala, who represented a set of investors, in one of the first instances of an online media entrepreneur buying a print magazine in India.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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