News In A Snap!!

Who owns Times Now?

The company behind Times Now.

November 13, 2016

Times Now is mysterious.

The fully owned subsidiary of BCCL (Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd), TGBCL (Times Global Broadcasting Company Ltd), owned Times Now (now Times Now is under BCCL itself). Despite being what it is, as of March 2014, BCCL wrote down its entire investment in TGBCL, to 0. This, after investing an estimated 514 crores in the company, and earning Rs. 24 crores as profit in FY2013-14.

What is making it seem even more ironic is that the Times Network CEO declared in November 2015 that Times Now, along with Movies Now, Romedy Now, ET Now and Magicbricks Now, should contribute 15-18% to BCCL’s revenues. Let’s put that into perspective: just the profit before tax for BCCL was Rs. 1489 crores in 2010-11. Even by that (outdated and not-very-accurate) yardstick, these networks are expected to earn Rs. 223 crores. And apparently, the most visible and known of these channels is earning nothing.

So then, what about the Times Group?

The Times Group, better known as Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd  is everywhere. It owns The Times of India, The Economic Times, Times Now, Movies Now,, (the recently-opened) Bennett University in Greater Noida, Radio Mirchi, Filmfare, Femina. And counting…

You can know a bit about the history here.

From the financial details obtained about the company, it was seen that major shareholders in the company were Bharat Nidhi Ltd (24.41%), Ashoka Viniyoga Ltd (18.02%), Camac Commercial Co. Ltd (13.3%), Sanmati Properties Ltd. (9.75%) and Arth Udyog Ltd. (9.31%) [Source: JBS]. It’s the shareholding pattern in the individual companies which is much, much more interesting.

Sanmati Properties Ltd

Sanmati Properties Ltd itself owns shares in Arth Udyog Ltd, Bharat Nidhi Ltd and Matrix Merchandise Ltd [Source: Annual Report, SPL 15-16]; as regards its ownership, Ashoka Marketing Ltd  effectively owns Sanmati Properties Ltd. The company declares itself as having no fixed assets and inventory.

Ashoka Marketing conducted its AGM for FY2015-16 at 10, Daryaganj, New Delhi; note this address. The annual report declares Sanmati Properties Ltd to be its Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS), and thus it includes both the companies holdings, combined. While it declares Sanmati Properties to be owned by it (100%), among its holdings are

  • Bharat Nidhi Ltd (26.42%),
  • Mahavir Finance Ltd (20%),
  • Matrix Merchandise Ltd (22.98%),
  • Pearl Print Well Ltd (22%) and
  • TM Investments Ltd (22%).

As for who owns the company, the highest stake in the company itself is held by, surprisingly, Matrix Merchandise (27.07%), followed by:

  • Vineet Kumar Jain (20%),
  • Mahavir Finance Ltd (18.9%),
  • Bharat Nidhi Ltd (13.33%),
  • Arth Udyog Ltd (12.77%) and
  • Mukul Sahu Jain (6.67%).

It also reports no business activities [Source: AML 15-16, Annual Report].

Bharat Nidhi Ltd

Bharat Nidhi owns:

  • Vasuki Properties Ltd (49.99%),
  • Matrix Merchandise (23.9% )
  • Mahavir Finance Ltd (20%).

Its relation with BCCL is regarding ‘Distribution of Newspaper & Magazines in Delhi & NCR’, an agreement since 29th June 1990. The top shareholders of the company are

  • Matrix Merchandise Ltd (20.55%),
  • Mr. Vineet Jain (20.21%),
  • Sanmati Properties Ltd (16.15%) and
  • Ashoka Marketing Ltd (10.27%).

In the same report, there are 2 directors up for reappointment. Of these, Mr. Nityanand Singh is declared to be a director in Sanmati Properties and Arth Udyog Ltd, even on a company called Sahu Jain Services Ltd. The other director, Ms. Revati Jain, is a director on the board of Ashoka Marketing Ltd, Arth Udyog Ltd, Sanmati Properties Ltd, and General Body Member for Times Foundation. Under fixed assets, its tangible assets include only and only a note counting machine. [Source: Annual Report, BNL, 14-15]

Ashoka Viniyoga Ltd

The annual report of Ashoka Viniyoga Ltd. has, among other things, a secretarial audit done by Nityanand Singh & Co. Nityanand Singh himself is a director in three related companies.  Its business activity is declared to be ‘Sale and Distribution of Newspaper‐ “The Times of India (NIE edition)”’. It holds shares in

  • Camac Commercial Company Ltd (20.49%),
  • Vasuki Properties Ltd (25.02%),
  • Bennett Advisory Services (25%),
  • Combine Holding Limited (34.49%),
  • PNB Finance& Industries Ltd (20.36%),
  • Artee Viniyoga Limited (29.69%) and
  • Nandravrat Properties & Developers Limited (26.67%).

Among the shareholders in the company,

  • Mr. Samir Jain (16.26%) appears, while
  • Camac Commercial Co. Ltd. (45.95%) and
  • Artee Viniyoga Limited (11.91%) and
  • Combine Holding Limited (7.86%) and
  • PNB Finance & Industries Limited (8.56%) are the others.

Tangible assets of the company are two: a building in Lonavla and a laptop. [Source: Annual Report, AVL 15-16]

Camac Commercial Co. Ltd

Camac Commercial also had Nityanand Singh & Co. perform secretarial audit of the company for the FY2015-16. The company holds shares in:

  • Ashoka Viniyoga Ltd (45.95%),
  • Combine Holding Ltd (26.77%),
  • Artee Viniyoga Ltd (25%),
  • Sahu Jain Services Ltd (25%),
  • Times Publishing House Ltd (20.83%),
  • Vasuki Properties Ltd (24.97%) and
  • Radio Network Ltd (21.05%).

The controlling stake on the company is too fine to matter;

  • Artee Viniyoga Ltd (20.571%),
  • Ashoka Viniyoga Ltd (20.487%),
  • Combine Holding Ltd (16.357%),
  • PNB Finance & Industries Ltd (3.965%) and
  • Punjab Mercantile & Traders Ltd (7.473%).
  • Samir Jain and Meera Jain own 17.558% and 8.044%, respectively.

Tangible assets include only a safe deposit vault and a laptop worth Rs. 1,10,040, which depreciated by Rs. 59,605 in one year [Source: Annual Report, CCL 15-16].

Arth Udyog Ltd.

Arth Udyog Ltd declares that it ‘does not have any significant business activity as of now alongside its non business key activity being deployment of surplus funds.’ The company holds shares in

  • Nandaravat Properties and Developers Limited (26.67%),
  • Bennett Advisory Services Ltd (25%) and
  • Mahavir Finance Ltd (20%).

The stakeholders are

  • Mr Vineet Jain holding 33.67% in the company, the largest stake in the company.
  • Bharat Nidhi Ltd (18.37%),
  • Matrix Merchandise (14.53%),
  • Sanmati Properties Ltd (9.8%),
  • Ashoka Marketing Ltd (9.39%),
  • TM Investments (7.25%) and
  • Mahavir Finance Ltd (6.68%)

Its fixed assets include only a computer worth Rs 1,10,565, which depreciated by Rs 41,137 in the FY. [Source: Annual Report, Arth Udyog Ltd 15-16]. Again, the AGM of the company shareholders was held at 10, Daryaganj, New Delhi.

Office Addresses

The registered offices of Ashoka Marketing, Camac Commercial as well as Bharat Nidhi Ltd are in the same building: Express Building, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi  110002, Delhi.  The following is a list of addresses of some of the above companies and other related ones:


P N B Finance & Industries Limited

Address: 10, Daryaganj, New




Artee Viniyoga Limited

Address: 10, Daryaganj, New




Bennett Advisory Services Limited

Address: 10, Daryaganj, New




Nandravrat Properties & Developers Limited

Address: 10, Daryaganj, New




Vasuki Properties Limited

Address: 10, Daryaganj, New




Sahu Jain Services Ltd

Address: 10, Daryaganj, New Delhi – 110002




Sanmati Properties Ltd

Address: 10, Daryaganj, New Delhi



It’s hard to estimate the number of related companies; According to Paranjoy Guha, BCCL’s Annual Report in 2010-11 listed 63 subsidiary companies and 4 joint ventures. It also declared that the holdings of the Jain family members in BCCL was a cumulative 1.03%. Only.

What these companies do, is hard to understand. Both Ashoka Marketing as well as Sanmati Properties Ltd declare that they do ‘not have any significant business activity as of now alongside its non-business key activity being deployment of surplus funds.’

And if you need more evidence, have a look at the directors.

Mr. Punit Jain
Ms. Revati Jain
Mr. Vijay Bhushan
Mr. B. Chintamani Rao
Mr. Nityanand Singh
Mr. Mukesh Gupta


Mr. Karam Chand Jain
Mr. Punit Jain
Ms. Divya Kohli
Mr. Ashish Chawla


Mr. Rajagopalan Sundar
Mr. Karam Chand Jain
Ms. Amita Gola
Mr. Gaurav Jain


Mr. Surender Kumar Jain
Mr. Karam Chand Jain
Mr. Nityanand Singh

Annual Report[SPL]15-16

Ms. Revati Jain
Mr. Ashok Sen
Mr. Sanjay Kumar
Mr. Rajagopalan Sundar


Mr. Nityanand Singh
Ms. Shweta Saxena
Mr. Anupam Kumar Garg

Source: Website

Board Of Directors


If the Jain family owns the Times Group, then why this web? Why these companies, which have no real business concern, and merely exist to transfer the funds from one place to another? This is arguably, the nation’s premier news outlet we are talking about. The probable reasons for this are said to include, tax evasion, transferring of funds, or hiding behind a ‘corporate veil’. None of these look good allegations.

Over to the Times.

All financial confusions resolved by my sister from-another-mother-&-father Shivani. Cheers, sis!


About the author: Hitesh Shetty
Dreams of writing a bestseller and changing the world. When awake, tries to figure out how to do both. | Get Tech Addicted...
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