Bengaluru-based taxi aggregator Ola on Friday categorically denied a news report claiming that some of its investors plan to sell their stakes to rival Uber. A statement released by Ola's promoters ANI Technologies Private Limited said that the report, which was attributed to an unnamed source, is "completely false, misleading, malicious and planted...with the intent of causing harm to the Ola brand and creating confusion among our stakeholders".
A report published by English daily dna on Friday quoted an unnamed source as saying that except for Japanese investor SoftBank, the rest of Ola's shareholders would sell their stake. The source also told the newspaper that the enterprise value of the company has been estimated at $4 billion.
Ola's statement said, "We are shocked and dismayed at the lack of journalistic ethics in carrying the story, despite our repeated denial to the reporter and the publication's editorial representatives. We also had received a verbal confirmation that the report shall not be carried given the company's denial."
The company said it plans to initiate legal action against the English daily, along with seeking compensation for the "damage caused to us by this irresponsible reporting".
However, dna defended its report, saying that Ola's executives and spokespersons had neither denied nor confirmed the deal when its reporter approached them. "An email sent by dna went unanswered till the time of going to press. When contacted, Anand Subramanian, senior director (marketing and communication), Ola, told dna he would get back after consulting his company officials but did not respond to calls made to him later," the daily said in a report.