S Chand continues inorganic growth

S Chand acquires 51% stake in Chetana Publications

242
Himanshu Gupta, managing director of S Chand. Photo News Tree Media
Himanshu Gupta, managing director of S Chand. Photo News Tree Media

One of the country’s biggest education publishers, S Chand’s board has just approved (on 9 August 2018) an investment of Rs. 58.5 crore for the acquisition of 51% in Chetana Publications. The all cash deal for a majority stake is being described as a “partnership interest.”

The board of S Chand, one of India’s larger educational publishers producing books for private schools and college and university level education, came out with an initial public offering more than a year ago. The IPO allowed one of its private equity investors to cash in on its investment. It also gave the company cash for its inorganic growth that had begun well before the IPO. S Chand reported revenues of Rs 807 crore in FY 2017-18 with the K-12 segment contributing about 80% of this.

Chetana is the fourth acquisition in recent years; earlier private books publishers acquired include Vikas Publishing House, New Saraswati House and Chhaya Prakashani. Mumbai-based Chetana Publications is also in education books as well as multimedia products and stationery with a backlist of 1000 schoolbook titles. According to a company statement, “This investment is in line with the inorganic growth strategy of S Chand to expand its share in the K12 content publishing market,” said the company. Chetana looks like a good strategic fit to help move the company into the Western region’s private school market.

Moreover, Himanshu Gupta, managing director of S Chand added, “We are glad to collaborate with Chetana Publications. This transaction will enhance our collective ability to deliver better academic outcomes and expand our reach in the west (western India) region.” Rakesh Rambhia, managing partner of Chetana Publications, said the financial support and domain expertise of S Chand will help it expand “more rapidly and broadly.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here