Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, chairman of the $240 billion Adani Group, is about to launch a hostile takeover bid for New Delhi Television (NDTV), one of the country’s most trusted news sources.
On Tuesday, Adani’s AMG Media Networks Limited (AMNL) acquired about 29% of NDTV indirectly by buying up loans to the company. The value of the transaction was not disclosed. AMNL also made an open offer to acquire an additional 26% of NDTV, but at INR 294 ($3.68) per share, a discount of 20% to the company’s existing share value.
NDTV said in a statement that the acquisition of the loan was “completed without any input, discussions, or consent from the NDTV founders, who, like NDTV, were only made aware of this exercise today. Just yesterday, NDTV informed the exchanges that there had been no change in its founders’ holdings.
“NDTV has never compromised at the heart of its business – its journalism. We continue to proudly stand by this journalism,” the statement added.
NDTV was founded in 1984 by Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy. She currently runs two news channels and is known for being a guardian of democracy, fearlessly questioning those in power, regardless of which political party they belong to. As such, it enjoys the reputation of being one of the few remaining independent – and therefore credible – news agencies in India.
With a market cap of $310 million, NDTV reported revenue of $45 million in 2021.
Adani, currently the fourth richest person in the world – and the richest man in Asia – with a net worth of $135 billion according to the latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Adani Group is active in the port management, power generation and transmission, renewable energy, mining, airport operations, natural gas, food processing and infrastructure sectors.
Unlike the other large billionaire-led group in India, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, which holds significant media holdings, including digital rights to the lucrative Indian Premier League cricket tournament, Adani’s media holdings are modest. AMNL was formed in April this year to conduct “the business of publishing, broadcasting, distributing and advertising,” according to a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange. The first step in building the Adani media empire was the acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Quintillion Business Media, a digital business news platform, in May.
“This acquisition is a significant milestone toward AMNL’s goal of paving the way for new-age media across platforms,” AMG Media Networks CEO Sanjay Pugalia said in a statement while unveiling the NDTV investment.
“AMNL aims to support Indian citizens, consumers and those interested in India with information and knowledge. With its leading position in news and its strong and diverse reach across genres and regions, NDTV is the most suitable broadcast and digital platform to realize our vision. We look forward to strengthening NDTV’s leadership in news delivery,” the statement added.
https://variety.com/2022/biz/news/gautam-adani-ndtv-hostile-takeover-bid-1235349154/ Indian billionaire Gautam Adani makes hostile takeover bid for NDTV