NDTV: Adani Group says it does not need SEBI approval to acquire stake
The conglomerate said that the media company’s founders are bound to comply with their contractual obligations.
The Adani Group on Friday said that regulatory restrictions imposed on NDTV founders do not affect the conglomerate’s attempt to buy a 29.18% of stake in the media company, PTI reported.
The conglomerate, led by billionaire Gautam Adani, on Tuesday announced it will acquire the stake in NDTV through its subsidiary company Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited, which it had bought on the same day.
However, a day later, NDTV said that the Adani Group will first need clearance from the Securities and Exchange Board of India to acquire a stake in the company as its founders were barred by the regulatory body on November 27, 2020, from buying or selling shares for two years.
It had said that the market regulator’s approval is necessary for Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited to secure 99.5% interest in NDTV’s promoter group vehicle Radhika Roy Prannoy Roy Private Limited.
On Friday, the conglomerate said that Radhika Roy Prannoy Roy Private Limited was not part of the 2020 SEBI order and thus concerns raised by NDTV are “baseless, legally untenable and devoid of merit”.
“Consequently, the restraints as pointed out by RRPR [Radhika Roy Prannoy Roy Private Limited] in paragraphs 111(b) and 112 of the SEBI order do not apply to RRPR,” Adani Enterprises said. “RRPR is therefore obligated to comply with its contractual obligations.”
Adani Group’s acquisition of NDTV stake
On Tuesday, AMG Media Networks Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, bought 100% of the equity stakes in VCPL for Rs 113.74 crore.
In 2009, VCPL had given a loan of Rs 403.85 crore to NDTV. According to the terms of the loan, the company held the right to exercise its warrants and convert the loan amount into equity shares – which it did after being brought by the Adani Group on Tuesday.
The Gautam Adani-led group of companies also said it will launch an open offer to acquire another 26% of the media house.
According to the rules of the Securities and Exchanges Board of India, an entity that acquires more than a 25% stake in a company gets the right to announce an open offer to the shareholders of the target company inviting them to sell their shares at a specific price.
NDTV said that the notice about the acquisition was served without “input from, conversation with, or consent” of the founders of the channel – Radhika Roy and Prannoy Roy.
“As recently as yesterday, NDTV had informed the stock exchanges that there was no change in the shareholding of its founders,” the news channel said in a statement. “NDTV has never compromised on the heart of its operations – its journalism. We continue to proudly stand by that journalism.”