Exclusive: Radhakrishnan Nair, the publisher of Man’s World and Rolling Stone India has sold a majority stake in the magazines to Spenta Multimedia, MediaNama has learned from reliable sources. Nair, while confirming to MediaNama that Spenta Multimedia has come in as an investor, declined to comment on whether it has acquired a majority stake, saying that he can’t comment on the deal due to confidentiality clauses. “The magazine will be run as is. We will invest in new properties, because we now have backing, but our plans are still at a nascent stage. This year is not a good year for media companies. You must have seen what is happening in the magazine business, so it all depends on how things evolve,” Nair said.
Nair was previously in talks with Delhi Press, which recently bought Business Standard’s Motoring Magazine, but the deal fell through.
The company also has a contract publishing division, and publishes the in-flight magazine for GoAir, a magazine for NCPA and DJMag for Percept, which owns the Sunburn property. According to Nair, Mans World has a circulation of 60,000, while Rolling Stone has 40,000. It also has websites for these magazines: MW was relaunched a few weeks ago, and Nair says that the Rolling Stone India website is “doing well”, but the websites are not sources of revenue.
Spenta Multimedia is a custom publishing house which has a portfolio of 35 custom magazines (like those for Jet Airways and HDFC Bank), six consumer magazines (Hair, Innowin, Marwar, Liquid, The Smart Manager, Adorn and Domus), three event properties, and around 80 clients, according to its website. It also publishes coffee table books, and operates a digital agency called Spenta Online, which does web design, SEO, media buying etc. In 2008, Spenta had acquired the Marwar magazine and event properties from Arpan Publishing. Man’s World was started in 2008 by Anuradha Mahindra, wife of Mahinda & Mahindra’s Anand Mahindra, but, according to Mint, Nair bought that and the rights to Rolling Stone India from her in 2008.