Amazon buys stake in Tata’s publishing co Westland for Rs 9.5 cr

WESTLANDTrent Ltd, which operates the various retail chains of the Tata Group, said US-based has agreed to buy a 26% stake in its fully-owned subsidiary Westland for Rs 95 mln.

It will also get an option to buy out the remaining 74% from the Tatas.

Before the transaction, the entire shareholding of Westland was with Trent, which in turn is controlled by Tata Sons.

According to Tata’s group website, Westland distributes books from publishers like Random House, Transworld, St. Martin’s Press, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins and Pan Macmillan.

“Given the investor’s extensive experience in books and digital platforms, the investment Would facilitate Westland Limited to take Indian authors and their works to a far wider audience,” the company said.

Amazon will get to nominate one member to the board of Westland.

This is the first tie-up between the Tata Group and Amazon, which started off specializing in books and digital content. Today, Amazon is among the top e-commerce websites in the world.

According to an article on Tata’s website, book publishing constitutes 33 per cent of Westland’s revenues, while the rest comes from the distribution of books.

The business its parent company, East West Books, began with as a Chennai-based, family-owned firm. East West Books tied up in the mid-1990s with Landmark, a retail player and another family concern, to form Westland.

The firm was later acquired by Trent. The acquisition by Trent saw Westland fixing its gaze on publishing, the article says.