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Adani to pay additional amount for NDTV shares to match payment to founders

Adani to pay additional amount for NDTV shares to match payment to founders


Adani to pay additional amount for NDTV shares to match payment to founders

Richest Asian Gautam Adani’s group on Tuesday said it will pay an additional Rs 48.65 a share to NDTV stockholders who tendered their shares in its open offer to help match what it had paid to buy out a stake of the news broadcaster’s founders.

Adani Enterprises in a stock exchange filing said it will pay an additional Rs 48.65 per NDTV share to investors, who had sold their shares in an open offer between November 22 and December 5, taking the payout to Rs 342.65 a share and matching what it paid to buy Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy’s stake.

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Adani Group first acquired Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited, a little-known company that had given Rs 403 crore of an interest-free loan to RRPR Holdings – a company founded by the Roys and bore their initials in its name – in 2009-10 in exchange for warrants that allowed it to buy a stake in the newsgroup at any time. Adani group exercised those rights in August last year, which NDTV at that time said was done without its consent.

By virtue of that, the Adani group took control of RRPR Holdings, which held a 29.18 per cent stake in NDTV. Thereafter, it made an open offer to acquire an additional 26 per cent from public shareholders. That open offer was made at a price of Rs 294 per share. And despite the open offer price being at a deep discount to the stock’s trading price, it found investors willing to sell over 53 lakh shares or 8.27 per cent shareholding.

The twin transactions gave Adani group a stake higher than what founders Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika held in the firm. And last week, Adani group bought 27.26 per cent out of the 32.26 per cent stake that Roys had in the firm for Rs 342.65 per share. In all, Roys got Rs 602 crore. Prannoy Roy held a 15.94 per cent stake in NDTV, of which, he has sold all but a 2.5 per cent shareholding. His wife Radhika Roy too sold all but 2.5 per cent of the 16.32 per cent stake she had in NDTV.

Adani group now holds 64.71 per cent of New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV), according to a regulatory filing. Post that, Roys resigned from the NDTV board. Prannoy Roy was the chairperson of the company. Adani group, which had named two directors on the NDTV board following its acquisition of Radhika Roy Prannoy Roy (RRPR) Holdings Pvt Ltd, replaced them with two more of its nominees. It has appointed retired IAS officer Sunil Kumar and former civil servant Aman Kumar Singh to the board of NDTV.

The two served under BJP’s Raman Singh, who was chief minister of Chhattisgarh from 2003 to 2018. While Sunil Kumar retired as chief secretary of Chhattisgarh in 2014, Aman Singh, who was principal secretary to former Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, resigned from service after BJP lost power in 2018. While Sunil Kumar’s exact role in the Adani group is not known, Aman Singh heads the corporate communications department. Adani group had previously named Sanjay Pugalia and Senthil Sinniah Chengalvarayan as its directors on the NDTV board.

Pugalia, a former journalist, is the chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of media initiatives at Adani Group. Chengalvarayan, a journalist, is an independent director at Quintillion Business Media Pvt, another media firm in which Adani bought a stake last year. NDTV will give Adani Group a footprint in the media space as part of its broader diversification spree that has led to the expansion of the conglomerate beyond coal mining and ports into airports, data centres, cement and digital services.

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