Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s conglomerate said on Tuesday it is on the verge of gaining a 29.18% stake in the NDTV news group.
NDTV issued a statement hours after the announcement saying the move had been executed “without any input from, conversation with, or consent of the NDTV founders.” It added that NDTV’s parent company, RRPR Holding Private Limited, had been given two days to transfer shares to Adani’s Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited (VCPL).
A unit of the Adani Group said it had plans to acquire another 26%, in line with Indian regulations.
On Wednesday, NDTV shares jumped by 5% to a 14-year-high after the announcement.
The NDTV group is one of India’s most popular news organizations and is known for often taking a critical stance toward the government. It was founded by TV personality Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy in 1988.
They individually, and through their company, continue to hold 61.45% of NDTV, the statement said.
While Adani did not disclose financial details of the group’s planned 29.18% stake purchase, it said its subsequent open offer would be for 294 Indian rupees (€3.70, $3.68) per NDTV share, which would be worth 4.93 billion rupees.
“Almost the last bastion of independent journalism being taken over by industry,” said former minister Kapil Sibal on Twitter.
The acquisition would mark Adani’s biggest bet in the media sector after he entered the field in March this year.
The Adani Group has several publicly listed companies in sectors such as airports and ports, power generation and transmission, as well as coal and gas trading. Adani, the richest man in India, enjoys close ties with the ruling party including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Source – DW News