Confirming the development, DD Purkayastha, managing director, ABP, said, “Both Anurag Batra and Vikram are buying Businessworld”. Purkayastha however did not disclose the amount for which the deal has been signed. He also said that the magazine will continue to be published and not miss a single issue.
Sources close to the deal said that that the new owners are bullish on the online potential of the magazine and plan to turn it into a viable business by utilising the scope available in this space.
Batra operates Exchange4media, a business-to-business portal which covers media, advertising and marketing apart from publishing magazines including Impact and Pitch.
It has been almost a year since ABP had put the magazine on the block and was looking for buyers. The management had hoped to clinch a deal by end of the year, failing which the magazine would have been shut. Earlier in February the business magazine was turned fortnightly from a weekly.
The scene is not rosy for the Indian magazine industry, especially with digital walking away with much of the readership base. Currently, of the Rs 1,650 crore Indian magazine industry, business magazines constitute Rs 400 crore. Recently, the Outlook Group closed three of its magazines — Marie Claire, Geo and People.