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Times Internet acquires 50 per cent stake in A1Books

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | August 01, 2008
Private Treaties, the investment arm of the Times Group, has acquired about 50 per cent stake in A1Books.co.in and is currently in talks with a few other internet companies to acquire stakes

Times & #BANNER1 & # Internet has picked up about 50 per cent stake in A1Books.co.in, an online marketplace for books owned by Webnotions Books India Private Ltd.

A spokesperson from Times Internet revealed that it's a Private Treaties deal done through IndiaTimes.com. He says, "Times Internet will provide marketing and branding support to A1Books. The portal will get media coverage/ad space in all online publications, TV channels and FM stations owned by the Times Group." He adds, "The amount invested is large enough to run A1Books ads in all properties of the Times Group for three years." Times Internet will also provide technical guidance to A1Books.co.in. In addition to the branding support, Indiatimes has also created a content partnership with A1Books, making it available on Indiatimes.com's shopping section.

The spokesperson also confirmed that Times Internet is negotiating with a few international and Indian companies to acquire stakes in them. These companies are portals or application development firms in the internet and mobile space.

Webnotions India, started in December 2007, is owned by Webnotions USA founded by Shinu Gupta in 1995. Times Internet has invested only in the Indian arm of Webnotions.

Webnotions India runs A1Books.co.in, an online market for books connecting publishers or sellers of books to buyers. It enables Indian and international publishers to create their profiles on the site and list their books. A1Books.com is a portal owned by Webnotions USA, serving customers in the USA. The site claims it has served four million customers in the USA.

Private Treaties is a division of Bennett, Coleman & Co (BCCL) which picks up stakes in companies and offers them branding and advertising deals apart from cash. The division has already invested in about 200 companies. Recently, it invested in an online shopping and product comparison site called Naaptol.com.