Asia’s richest man and India’s billionaire Gautam Adani’s business conglomerate has launched a bid to make a hostile takeover of one of the most influential broadcasters in India, NDTV. Part of the Adani group, AMG Media Networks, issued a statement on 23rd August 2022 that it has acquired a 29% stake in NDTV. This deal was made by buying one of the news network’s majority shareholders. The company has now given an open offer to NDTV for acquiring an additional 26% stake to become a majority shareholder.
Let’s have a detailed look at how the Adani group aims to gain a strong footing in the country’s influential media space and whether NDTV will relent to this hostile takeover.
Is NDTV taken over by Adani?
Apart from the 29% stake in NDTV already acquired by the Adani group, it has now made an open offer to buy an additional 26% stake in the newsgroup. According to the Adani Group’s filings with the Bombay stock exchange, the offer is to acquire a stake at Rs. 294 per share, making the deal worth Rs. 494 cr or $62 million.
The acquiring company, AMG Media Networks said in a statement that this is a milestone move for empowering Indian citizens and all those interested in India’s growth through information and knowledge focus. On the other hand, NDTV has said that the acquisition move comes as a surprise and it does not have the new group’s consent.
Stock performance after NDTV Adani takeover bid
NDTV has been one of the top-performing media stocks with its prices rising by 382% in the last 1 year vs only a 6% rise in the S&P BSE Sensex. After the news of Adani’s hostile takeover bid came out, the stock prices hit the upper circuit of 5% to touch Rs. 384.5 and reached its highest level since August 2008.
NDTV has also been a profitable company, having fetched a revenue of Rs. 4.21 billion with a net profit of Rs. 850 million in FY 21-22. The company also has very negligible debt, making it an attractive buy for the Adani group.
Who is the owner of NDTV?
New Delhi Television Limited or NDTV is India’s first private newsgroup offering current affairs shows through its news channels. The group was founded by Radhika Roy and Prannoy Roy in 1988.
Today, NDTV is one of the country’s most credible news networks and a major broadcaster was known to be critical of the ruling government party.
Rising interest of billionaires in news and media
Adani showed his interest in media and news space for the first time in March this year when he bought a minority stake in a digital business news platform Quintillion. With the open offer to acquire NDTV, Adani has expanded his horizon and reflected his deeper interest in the domestic media sector.
As per a representative of the Adani group, the NDTV takeover will work in favour of the Adani group’s vision since it is the most influential broadcast and digital platform. Many experts see this move as Adani’s direct face-off in the media segment with rival Mukesh Ambani.
Did you know
Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries has a controlling stake in Network18 which runs business channels including CNBC TV18.
The value of India’s TV news industry is said to be nearly $351 million. The majority of this space is today controlled by Ambani and the Times Group which runs multiple newspapers and media channels. With Adani’s foray into this sector, it is evident that the rich will rule the influential news and media in the near future.
World’s rich and their media connection
It is not just in India that the richy rich are showing heavy interest in the media sector. World over, billionaires and business tycoons have constantly demonstrated their love for buying stakes in media companies. Some examples are:
- Jeff Bezos – founder of Amazon and one of the world’s richest individuals bought The Washington Post for $250 million
- British billionaires, Barclay Brothers had bought The Telegraph and the Spectator back in 2004
- Italy’s multi-billionaire Agnelli family has a majority stake in The Economist which was bought for 287m pounds in 2015
Adani Group has multiple sector exposures with various publicly listed companies that are engaged in businesses like ports, energy, coal and gas, FMCG, etc. NDTV has a stronghold in the Indian media space with multiple awards in its kitty and popularity among the Indian masses. By adding NDTV to the group, the conglomerate will further enjoy diversification and a strong media positioning.
Adani group had a stake in a company called VPCL which was one of the shareholders of NDTV. By fully acquiring the company, the group gained a 29% stake in NDTV and has now made an open offer to acquire a further 26% stake in NDTV.
Adani group is acquiring NDTV to enter the media and news space.
Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance owns a majority stake in the Network18 newsgroup.
The Sahu Jain family is the majority stakeholder in Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd which further owns the Times group