New Delhi: CMYK Printech Ltd, publisher of English daily The Pioneer, has engaged consulting firm Deloitte and Touche Consulting India Pvt. Ltd to find strategic investors willing to take up to 49% stake in the media company, a person close to the development said.
The firm, with interests in print, Web and media education business, had held equity talks in August 2006 with Jagran Prakashan Ltd, publisher of Dainik Jagran. The talks failed because Jagran Prakashan wanted a majority stake and the Pioneer management was unwilling, according to this same person who did not want to be identified.
CMYK Printech is currently majority owned by the promoter group, which holds 74% stake in the firm. The promoter group comprises Chandan Mitra, who is also editor of the newspaper and a member of Rajya Sabha; Durbar Ganguly, who looks after marketing and administration, and Amit Goel, who handles the media education business.
“In May this year, the present management will complete 10 years of running the paper. We posted small profits in the past two years, so now we feel it’s time to go in for an aggressive expansion. We will sell some equity to fund these plans,” confirmed Ganguly, joint managing director and vice-chairman, CMYK Printech.
Pioneer has eight editions. While the Delhi, Lucknow, Chandigarh and Dehradun editions are managed directly, Ranchi, Kochi, Bhopal and Bhubaneswar are franchisee editions. The company plans to have at least 12 more editions. The 143-year-old daily, originally founded in 1865 by George Allen in Allahabad, changed hands several times before the present management took it over in 1998. At that time, the paper was with the Thapar family of Ballarpur Industries Ltd who decided to sell it because of consistent financial losses.
The firm recently won the contract to publish Namaskar, the in-flight magazine of Air-India, and already publishes Exotica, a magazine distributed exclusively through hotel chains. The company also plans to expand its portal management and software development business.
“Our portal management business has been growing consistently. We have big plans for our own website, Dailypioneer.com, which we expect to become a substantial revenue stream for us,” Ganguly said. The revamped website will go online by April, he added.