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Times group co picks up stake in Mid-Day Multimedia

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Oct. 28

A group company of Bennett, Coleman and Co Ltd (BCCL), publisher of the Times of India, appears to have picked up a 7.5 per cent equity stake in Mid-Day Multimedia Ltd, which owns the city tabloid Mid- Day, from the open market.

Filings with the BSE and NSE revealed that Banhem Financial and Consultants Pvt Ltd bought 32,01,076 shares of Mid-Day on Tuesday at an average price of about Rs 34.7 per share, totalling approximately Rs 11.10 crore. .

Banhem Financial is listed as a "fellow subsidiary" in Times Guaranty's annual report for the year ended March 2004. Bennett and Coleman owns nearly 75 per cent of Times Guaranty.

When contacted, a Director of Times Guaranty said he would have to check whether such a deal had taken place and could not confirm it right away. A top BCCL official too said that he was not in a position to confirm the development.

Banhem has bought over 26 lakh shares from Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank, the bank which was said to have gone bust after stockbroker Ketan Parekh allegedly short-changed it of several hundred crores of rupees.

According to a source, the block of Mid-Day shares that the bank sold in the market on Tuesday was part of the security provided by Ketan Parekh to borrow money that funded his stock market operations.

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