The GAUTAM ADANI-led Adani Group, a giant with numerous business ventures made an announcement on Tuesday. Announcement states that it had acquired a 29.18% stake in the television network NDTV Ltd. In addition, it announced that it would launch an open offer as required by the SEBI. It would be done to acquire an additional 26% of the business. Adani group new maximum stakeholder of NDTV? get to know now!
Announcement made by Adani Group
The Adani Group, which announced in May that it would purchase 49% of digital news source Bloomberg Quint. Again made an announcement that it wants to increase its media investment by launching a television channel. The NDTV founders, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, were not consulted, had no conversations with,nor agreed prior to the acquisition. They still control 32.26 percent of NDTV.
According to a press release from the Adani Group, its major Adani Enterprises Ltd.’s subsidiary AMG Media Networks Ltd on Tuesday acquired Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL). VCPL,a company which had lent NDTV promoter business RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd Rs 403.85 crore in 2009 and 2010. The Roys were the company’s owners.
In exchange for this interest-free loan, RRPR gave VCPL warrants that could be exchanged for a 99.9% ownership in RRPR. The RRPR owns a 29.18% interest in NDTV. Furthermore, in order to offer the loan to RRPR, VCPL had acquired money from Reliance Strategic Ventures. A fully owned division of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd.
VCPL sent a notice to them –“Without any conversation with NDTV or its founder-promoters. The notice claims that (VCPL) has implemented its powers to acquire 99.50% control of RRPR. The promoter-owned firm that owns 29.18% of NDTV”.
Offer made by Adani Group
The Adani Group made an open offer to purchase an additional 26% of VCPL after purchasing it for Rs 113.75 crore. Per share, the group is providing Rs 294. On the BSE, the NDTV stock ended trading on Tuesday at Rs 366.20, closing 2.6% higher than the day before.
The loan agreement between VCPL and RRPR had drawn regulatory criticism, leading SEBI to open an investigation in 2017. The market regulator observed in its ruling from June 2018 that RRPR had obtained the loan from VCPL. It was done to pay back its prior loan of Rs 375 crore to ICICI Bank, which was obtained to pay back a debt of Rs 540 crore obtained from Indiabulls Financial Services in December 2008. However, the Securities Appellate Tribunal invalidated this ruling in July of this year.
The acquisition operation had been “conveniently couched as a loan arrangement with the principal aim of the Notice (VCPL) being to seize power over NDTV without anticipating any return of the loan, whatever,” SEBI had noted in its judgement from June 2018.