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.”