Asia's richest man Adani to buy majority stake in India's NDTV in 'hostile' takeover TechCrunch

Adani Group said on Tuesday it would buy a majority stake in NDTV, a high-profile Indian news house, in an apparently hostile takeover as billionaire Gautam Adani expands his media ambitions.

AMG Media Networks, the unit of Adani, will indirectly buy a 29.18% stake in New Delhi Television and launch an open offer to buy another 26% stake, the Indian conglomerate said. The open bid is expected to be worth $61.77 million.

Founded three decades ago, NDTV is one of India’s most popular news organizations and a rare property that has consistently been critical of the ruling government’s efforts.

The New Delhi-based business, which operates three television news channels and maintains a large network presence, said on Tuesday that neither the firm nor its founders had any conversation about, consent to or input into the acquisition of the majority stake. .

“Without any discussion with New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) or its founder promoters, they were served with a notice by Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited (VCPL) stating that it (VCPL) had exercised its rights to acquire 99.50% control of RRPR Holding Private Limited (RRPRH), the promoter-owned company that owns 29.18% of NDTV. The notice by VCPL is based on a loan agreement entered into with NDTV founders Radhika and Prannoy Roy in 2009-10. The notice said VCPL had exercised its option to convert 19,90,000 warrants into shares of RRPRH at Rs. 10/- per share and that a total of Rs. 1.99 crore has been transferred to RRPRH,” NDTV added.

The acquisition comes as Adani, Asia’s richest man, looks to dive into media properties and compete aggressively with Mukesh Ambani, chairman of oil and telecom giant Reliance Industries, on another track. Ambani owns media property Network18.

“This acquisition is an important milestone in achieving AMNL’s goal of paving the way for new-age cross-platform media,” Sanjay Pugalia, CEO of AMG Media Networks, said in a statement.

“AMNL strives to empower Indian citizens, consumers and those interested in India with information and knowledge. With its leading position in news and its strong and diverse distribution across genres and geographies, NDTV is the most appropriate broadcast and digital platform to deliver on our vision. We look forward to strengthening NDTV’s leadership in news delivery.”

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