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Rediff.com  » Business » Haymarket to buy 50% in Autocar

Haymarket to buy 50% in Autocar

November 12, 2003 10:04 IST

Haymarket Group, the United Kingdom-based publishing company, will pick up 50 per cent stake in Sorabjee Automotive Publishing, the company that publishes Autocar India.

Haymarket Group, which publishes about 90 magazines worldwide, owns the Autocar brand globally.

"We have applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. The stake acquisition will strengthen our relationship with the group," Hormazd Sorabjee, editor and publisher, Autocar India, said.

However, it is not known how much money the British group intends to invest in the Indian company. Sorabjee currently owns the entire paid up capital of the Indian company.

This move follows the recent policy announcement permitting 74 per cent foreign investment in non news and current affairs Indian publishing companies.

The India Today group has used this policy to bring the Golf Digest magazine into the country.

According to Sorabjee, the equity infusion would be handy while expanding the operations in India.

Sorabjee Automotive, which currently has a licensing agreement with Haymarket for sourcing content and the brand, may also introduce other magazines from the Haymarket stable in India.

Both the companies entered into an alliance about three years back to bring the Autocar brand to India.

"The long term plans are to introduce other magazines from the group here. But the immediate priority is to strengthen Autocar by bringing in additional expertise from the group," Sorabjee said.

He said Autocar India, which has a circulation of about 80,000 copies, is consolidating its position in India. "We have a strong brand now, which is growing considerably," he said.

Globally Haymarket's business is expanding rapidly with acquisitions and new launches.

The Haymarket Group is Britain's largest privately-owned publishing company.

It publishes a wide range of popular enthusiast magazines, from motoring to soccer and is a leading publisher of specialist magazines for business and the professions.

Bipin Chandran in New Delhi