An outstanding loan gives Adani an opportunity to ‘forcefully’ take over NDTV

Adani-NDTV News: The acquisition of 34-year-old media organization NDTV by the Adani Group will help Gautam Adani join the ranks of the global giants of the media business. Adani is the fourth richest person in the world. Behind the acquisition is an outstanding debt that New Delhi Television founders Prannoy and Radhika Roy took from a company linked to billionaire Mukesh Ambani in 2009-10.

Vishwapradhan Commercial Private Limited (VCPL) had given a loan of Rs 403.85 crore to RRPR Holding Private Limited, the promoter company of NDTV. In lieu of this interest-free loan, RRPR issued warrants to VCPL, which would have the right to convert it into 99.9 per cent stake in RRPR if it could not pay it.

The ownership of VCPL changed in 2012. The Adani Group firm first acquired VCPL from its new owner and then exercised the option to convert the outstanding debt into a 29.18 per cent stake in the media company.

Following this, the Adani Group made an open offer of Rs 493 crore to the public to buy an additional 26 per cent stake in line with the country’s takeover norms. Prannoy and Radhika Roy considered Adani’s move to be a coercive or malicious takeover and said it was done without any discussion, consent or notice.

With the acquisition of NDTV, Adani will join the ranks of the Jeff Bezos and Murdoch family, which own the Washington Post and Fox Corporation, respectively. In the media space, the Adani Group will now take on the Ambanis, who already have a large presence in the sector through Network 18. Its news channels include CNN-News 18 and business channel CNBC-TV 18.

NDTV operates three national news channels – English news channel NDTV 24×7, Hindi news channel NDTV India and business channel NDTV Profit. The company’s online presence is also very strong.

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