Bennett, Coleman & Co. has bought the remaining 50 per cent shares of Worldwide Media from BBC Worldwide.
BBC Worldwide announced its intention of selling its magazine division a year ago. Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited (BCCL), which was a 50 per cent partner in Worldwide Media (WWM), a joint venture between the BCCL Group and BBC Worldwide for the magazine division, has bought the remaining 50 per cent shares owned by BBC Worldwide, making WWM a wholly-owned subsidiary of BCCL.
In the mail, Rai wrote, "While for the UK business, Exponent, a private equity firm, is the likely buyer, in India, The Times Group has decided to buy the 50 per cent share from BBC Worldwide. Materially, nothing changes besides the shareholding pattern. We are still Worldwide Media, and it is business as usual."
He added that the company's arrangement with BBC Worldwide will continue through its titles including BBC TopGear, Lonely Planet and BBC Knowledge.
According to media reports, BBC Worldwide, in all likelihood, will keep the editorial control of a few of its magazines.
For the record, in 2004, the BCCL Group and BBC Worldwide formed the 50:50 joint venture WWM, which publishes magazines such as Femina, Filmfare, Hello, BBC TopGear, BBC Good Homes, BBC Knowledge, Trends, What to Wear, Grazia and Lonely Planet, among others.