Adani Stake in NDTV a ‘Move to Stifle Independent Media’: Congress Leader Jairam Ramesh
Congress Leader Jairam Ramesh: The Congress charged on Wednesday, August 24, that the hostile bid by a company owned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “khaas dost” (special friend) is a brazen attempt to control and stifle any semblance of an independent media. Billionaire Gautam Adani has launched a hostile takeover of NDTV.
In a shocking move that has the potential to alter the media landscape, Adani initiated a hostile takeover of NDTV.
First, the company bought an indirect 29.18% stake in the broadcaster and tried to buy out an additional 26% controlling stake at the same time.
New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV), one of the most popular news networks in the country, says that its owners didn’t know about the takeover until Tuesday and that it happened without their knowledge or permission.
“The news of a deeply over-leveraged company owned by the PM’s’ khaas dost’making a hostile takeover bid of a well-known TV news network is nothing but a concentration of economic and political power, and a brazen move to control and stifle any semblance of an independent media,” tweeted Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh in response to the development.
What’s puzzling is how the other members of the ‘Humare Do’ utilized a loan from one of them as a weapon to start the hostile takeover of the television network. It’s ironic that a group called “Vishvapradhan” is engaged! Ramesh added in a subsequent tweet.
First, an Adani Group entity purchased a business that had previously been connected to rival tycoon Mukesh Ambani. In 2008–2009, the specific business lent NDTV Rs 250 crore, and the Adani Group company has now exercised the option to convert that debt into a 29.18% ownership in the news channel company.
A statement from the group says that it then made an open offer for another 26% ownership.
Adani Media Ventures Limited (AMVL), the media branch of Adani Enterprises Limited (AEL), bought the digital business news website Quintillion Business Media Private Limited (QBM) last year.
“Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of AMVL, is the holder of RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd (RRPR) warrants that may be converted into a 99.9% ownership interest in RRPR. It stated that “VCPL has executed warrants to purchase 99.5% of RRPR.”
As a result of this acquisition, VCPL will come under the control of RRPR.
The statement read, “RRPR is a promoter group firm of NDTV and holds a 29.18% share in NDTV.”
A statement from NDTV says that VCPL did what the law said it could do without consulting the business or its owners.
The notice said that Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited (VCPL) had used its right to take control of RRPR Holding Private Limited (RRPRH), the company owned by NDTV’s founders that owns 29.18% of the company, without telling NDTV or its founders.
Three national news stations are run by NDTV: NDTV 24-7 (in English), NDTV India (in Hindi), and NDTV Profit (in English).