NDTV Will Block Adani Group’s Takeover Attempt; Regulatory Framework Being Violated?
NDTV has now sought to block Gautam Adani’s efforts to buy a majority stake in the channel, citing threat to editorial integrity.
Recently, AMG Network Ltd (AMNL), the media arm of Indian conglomerate Adani Group, announced that its affiliated entity VCPL would acquire a 29.18 percent stake in NDTV, and would be launching an open offer for another 26 percent stake.
NDTV To Block Adani’s Effort To Buy Majority Stake?
According to a stock exchange filing, NDTV’s founders Prannoy and Radhika Roy have been barred from buying or selling shares in India’s securities market since 2020; which renders them unable to transfer shares that Adani was attempting to secure in order to exert control.
Adani’s conglomerate announced on Tuesday that it was seeking a controlling stake in the news channel, a move that NDTV described as “completely unexpected” and taken without discussion or consent from the network.
According to an order cited by NDTV (India’s New Delhi Television Ltd) from the Securities and Exchange Board of India in 2020, the regulator barred the Roys from trading in Indian markets until Nov. 26, 2022, after an investigation determined they made wrongful gains linked to suspected insider trading of NDTV shares.
As per reports, shares in NDTV saw a hike to the maximum permitted limit of 5% in early trade on Thursday.
Times Group’s Times Now and Network18’s CNN-News18, both controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, are among NDTV’s commercial rivals.
VCPL Acquiring Stake In NDTV
On August 23, NDTV said there was no consent from its founders for the exercise of rights by Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL) to acquire 99.50 percent control of RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd (RRPRH).
Here, RRPRH is the promoter company that holds 29.18 percent stake in the media group.
This all started when New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) informed the stock exchanges that the rights were “executed without any input from, conversation with, or consent of the NDTV founders.”.
Interestingly, the statement came shortly after AMG Network Ltd (AMNL), the media arm of Indian conglomerate Adani Group, announced that its affiliated entity VCPL would acquire a 29.18 percent stake in NDTV, and would be launching an open offer for another 26 percent stake.
AMNL noted that VCPL has “exercised the right to acquire 99.5 percent of the equity shares of RRPR Holding.”
Further adding that this will “trigger an open offer to acquire up to 26 percent stake in NDTV”, in a release.