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Forbes ties up with HDFC for media JV

By BS Corporate Bureau in Mumbai
March 08, 2005 10:03 IST
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The Shapoorji Pallonji-owned Forbes Group has entered the realm of publishing and content by joining hands with HDFC to form Next Gen Publishing Ltd.

The Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million) company will be launching special interest magazines and other print products.

HDFC will hold a 19.8 per cent stake in the new outfit, while Forbes Gokak will hold the majority stake. An HDFC source said the housing finance major will remain a "passive investor" in the venture.

NGPL is headed by Hoshang Billimoria, the former managing director of Tata Infomedia (now known as India Infomedia). Billimoria also holds a stake in the venture.

After the takeover of Forbes Gokak from the Tatas, the Mistrys have been entering new sectors -- lottery (Dhan Dhana Dhan) and business process outsouring (Forbes Technosys).

The NGPL board consists of Nawshir Khurody (former chairman Tata Infomedia and former managing director, Voltas and chairman NGPL), K C Mehra (deputy chairman and managing director Forbes Gokak ), Keki Mistry (managing director, HDFC) and R N Jha (former director Life Insurance Corporation).

The magazine sector has seen a spate of niche products in the recent past, the last being from the Ruias' Time Out. This reflects a growing trend even in the print media space that is seeing segmentation of readers.

A month back India Infomedia had tied up with the China-based Ringier Group to add at least five niche magazines to their portfolio.

Billimoria, who has spent more than 10 years with Tata Infomedia, was credited for turning around the company by launching the magazine and directory business. The first magazine from the Forbes-HDFC stable is expected shortly.
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BS Corporate Bureau in Mumbai
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