Our Bureau

Mumbai, Jan. 4

INDIAN Express Newspapers has sold 3.5 per cent stake in Mid-Day Multimedia in the last couple of days in the open market.

At the end of September 2005, Indian Express had 10 per cent stake in the company.

Filings with stock exchanges show that 14.94 lakh shares were sold in the open market in the last two trading session.

In March 2005, the promoters of Mid-Day had sold 10 per cent of the company's equity to Indian Express at Rs 60 per share.

FII BSMA bought part of the sale by Indian Express. It bought 5.5 lakh in today's trading.

On Wednesday, Mid-Day stock closed at Rs 106.60, up 1.72 per cent on the NSE

Meanwhile, Mid-day Multimedia Ltd has announced that BBC Worldwide Holdings B.V. would acquire a stake in Radio Mid-Day West (India) Pvt Ltd for Rs 31.85 crore.

Mr Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is also acquiring a stake in this radio arm for Rs 10 crore. The exact stake of these buyers was not known.

However, government stipulations do not permit foreign holding beyond 20 per cent in companies wanting to enter the FM radio broadcasting bidding process. Radio Mid Day West is due to enter the bidding process.

BBC had sought FIPB clearance for making this investment.

Mr Jhunjhunwala's investment is through Rare Enterprises, in which he is a partner.

"These funds will be utilised by Radio Mid-Day West (India) Pvt Ltd for bidding for licences under phase II of the private FM radio broadcasting policy announced by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting," the company said in a statement to the BSE.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 5, 2006)
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