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Gautam Adani calls NDTV takeover a “responsibility”, not an “opportunity”

Indian Billionaire Gautam Adani has called the acquisition of the News broadcaster New Delhi Television Ltd. (NDTV) a responsibility rather than a business opportunity. The statement was revealed in a discussion panel on Friday.

Asia’s richest man and the ports-to-energy-conglomerate operated by Adani has planned to acquire a majority of stakes in NDTV late in August. It is visualized as a bastion of independent media.

The takeover of the NDTV Group by Adani has raised worries among journalists and politicians, stating that a change in ownership could undermine NDTV’s editorial integrity.

NDTV was founded in 1988 and owned by the husband-wife duo Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy.

The owners have previously accused the Adani group has not taken any input or permission from the owners of the company regarding the ownership.

The Adani Group has initiated its open offer for owning 26 percent stakes in NDTV, which lasted from October 17 to November 1. The open offer has mentioned a bid of 1.67 crore INR equity shares which is recorded for 294 INR per share, and the valuation has been fixed.

They have stated that they plan to own the majority stake in the News Network through the accession of VCPL, holding 99.99 percent stakes in RRPR Company, a promoter entity of NDTV.

Adani Group acquired VCPL from its new owner as the former acquired a loan of 403.85 crore INR to RRPR holdings, and later, the conglomerate group converted the unpaid debt to 29.18 percent in the company. As a result, they have acquired a 26 percent stake in the company.

In an interview, Adani asked an integral question to the audience why can not support one media house become independent and have a global footprint in the company?

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He has added the comment mentioning that there are no single news platforms in India that can be compared with the global news stations like the Financial Times or AI Jazeera.

An independent directors committee opened up appreciating Adani’s decision to purchase stakes in NDTV last week, calling it to be fair and acceptable.

However, it was seen that NDTV’s stakes had been found to be higher than the offer price since Adani decided to purchase the stakes in the company.

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The board of directors has advised the stake to assess the open offer and monitor the performances of the network’s shares, and take decisions accordingly.

When Adani was asked what was meant by independence in the press, he opened up by stating that independence means the authority to say something is wrong when the government has done something wrong.

But at the same time, a person should have the courage to support the government when it is going something significant every single day.

Why does Adani call the acquisition of stakes in NDTV a responsibility?

Adani hails from the same region of India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Western part of India.

Congress has often accused Adani of being partial towards Narendra Modi-led BJP Government. They have blamed him for receiving favorable political treatment from Modi’s favorable administration.

adani forays

Adani has mentioned that he has called the co-founders of NDTV to be appointed as the chairs of the company once the acquisition of the stakes has been completed.

NDTV has strong business rivals in the sector, including the Times Now and Network18’s CNN-News 18. The latter is controlled by India’s second-richest billionaire Mukesh Ambani.

Adani has mentioned that he is looking forward to investing more than 4 billion USD in the petrochemical complexes situated in Gujarat.

The Gujarat-based conglomerate’s media sector AMG Media Networks Ltd. also purchased a stake in the business news platform BQ Prime which was previously known as Bloomberg Quint, this year.

He has mentioned that he will launch an application this year that would enable him to form a network among the services provided by the group with the Airport passengers.

Adani’s wealth has increased significantly in these years, attaining the position of the third richest person in the world. He has diversified his interests to gain authority for the coal and power sector and shifted to defense, water management, airports, data centers, and green energy centers.

Currently, he is planning to expand into the media industry.

Edited by Prakriti Arora

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