Monday, February 23, 2009

Independent in trouble

WSJ reported the other day that Independent News and Media - the Irish newspaper company - is in trouble because of its debt load, and might be looking to sell assets. Independent owns a 21% stake in Jagran Prakashan - one of the three listed newspaper companies in India. 

Newspaper companies in India have been badly hit in India because of overexpansion, ad slowdown, spiralling newspaper prices and depreciating rupee. But unlike the West, there is no secular pressure on the Indian newspaper industry. E-commerce is not developed at all in India due to low penetration of credit cards. And without e-commerce, it is unlikely that internet advertising takes off in a big way. There could be an interesting play in Jagran Prakashan stock if the stock gets hit because of this.  

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