New Indian edition planned for subcontinent

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The Independent Online

The Independent has announced plans to publish in India, making it the first British newspaper to be printed on the subcontinent. Pending government approval, it will be printed on the presses of its Indian associate, Jagran Prakashan, India's largest newspaper company, in which its parent company, Independent News & Media plc (INM), has a 20.8 per cent stake.

The Indian edition will be aimed at the high end of the local market, plus the leading hotel groups and embassies, mostly around the major cities, with estimated sales of 5,000 copies a day.

Jagran, which listed on the Mumbai Stock Exchange earlier this year, publishes the Hindi daily newspaper Dainik Jagran, which has a readership of over 20 million daily and recently reported a 32 per cent increase in advertising revenues. It is controlled by the Gupta family which, in partnership with INM, is also moving into India's rapidly growing radio and outdoor advertising markets.

Ivan Fallon, chief executive of Independent News & Media UK, said: "INM already publishes newspapers in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK, and was the first major international media company to invest in India, which is probably the fastest growing media market in the world.

"The Independent has gained a reputation for innovation and recently led the compact revolution, which has since spread across the publishing world. Now we are leading the way into India. We are very excited about India where our partnership with Dainik Jagran is opening up terrific opportunities."

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