Friday, November 21, 2008

Ananda Krishnan and the Johnston Press

Johnston Press, which owns The Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post, has large debts.

Money earned from adverts in the papers has been falling.

In May 2008, Usaha Tegas, the investment vehicle owned by the Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan, injected more money into Johnston press and became the largest single shareholder. (Struggling Johnston Press in emergency £212m fundraising ...)

Ananda Krishnan, born 1938, is a Tamil Malaysian businessman, of Sri Lankan Tamil origin.

Nicknamed TAK, he is currently estimated to be worth US$7.4 billion[1] according to Forbes' latest annual list of billionaires, making him the third wealthiest man in Southeast Asia behind Robert Kuok and Ng Teng Fong and number 119 in the world.

Since May 2008, the share price of Johnston Press has slumped further.

Ananda bought Johnston Press shares at 94 pence each.

These shares are now worth around 7 pence each. (Johnston Press; V)

Not so long ago the shares were worth 276 pence.

There is hope of recovery.

If Ananada Krishnan is wise he will try to ensure that the Scotsman wins back readers by switching its support to the Scottish National party.

He will also try to make the papers less old-fashioned, philistine and fuddy duddy.

Photo from:

The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday are both owned by the Johnston Press which has John Fry as its new chief executive (Telegraph)

We awarded our 2008 press award to these two newspapers because they have on occasions come up with world-class stories which certain other newspapers have missed.

1. The newspaper Scotland on Sunday reported 16/9/ 2001 that Osama bin Laden made his fortune in part by working with Jewish-Russian mafia operations in Qatar and Cyprus. (Cached)

2. 'It is time to put right the wrongs' - Scotland on Sunday

3. Lockerbie evidence was faked

4. HBOS takeover: Still time to save 'The Bank' - The Scotsman

"Unionist politicians have claimed an independent Scotland could not have afforded the £37 billion the UK Treasury has found for the banks... But the UK government does not have the money either and will borrow it from the world money markets in the form of a gilt auction. An independent Scotland could, arguably, have done the same."

Between the lines: Small countries looking best placed for recovery.

This article points out that Scotland would be better off being independent.


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