Chairman of Adani Group, Gautam Adani said on Wednesday that NDTV will be a credible and independent news organization under the new management. Adani Group owned by Gautam Adani had a few days ago acquired a 65 per cent stake in New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) through an open offer and conversion of shares.
New Delhi Television Ltd which is famously known as NDTV was founded by Prannoy Roy and journalist Radhika Roy in 1984. Since its foundation and launch of news segments in 1998, NDTV has been considered one of the most credible news agencies in the country. He said that news agencies should not only criticize the governments for their downfall but also praise regimes for taking positive steps.
In an interview with the Indian news channel India Today, Gautam Adani said that new management under Adani Group won’t interfere with the way news is reported on the channel. He also stated that a Laxman Rekha will be drawn between editorial and management which will ensure the independence of the news agency.
During the interview, Gautam Adani reiterated that he is trying to make NDTV a global media organization with high credibility. He also requested viewers and critiques to give the new management some time before interpreting his words and actions.
Following the acquisition of the majority stake by Adani Group, various social groups have voiced concerns regarding the independence of the news agency. NDTV which has been critical of the governments in power is seen as a beacon of press freedom in the country.
Critiques believe that NDTV under the Adani Group will become another mouthpiece of the government without any independence or credibility. Close relations between Gautam Adani and the current central government also make things more suspicious for the public.
How Adani Group took over NDTV?
RRPR Holdings owned by Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, in the late 2010s, took out a 400 crore rupees loan from a company named VCPL. The loan was taken in favor of NDTV which was at that time going through a financial crisis. According to the loan agreements, if there are any issues with the repayment of the loan, VCPL can at any time covert the loan into 99 per cent shares of RRPR Holdings.
In 2022, Adani Group acquired a majority stake in VCPL and made it a subsidiary. Following the acquisition of VCPL, Adani group decided to trigger the share conversion clause in the loan agreement with RRPR Holdings. This meant that Adani Group, through VCPL, owned 99 per cent of shares in RRPR Holdings. RRPR was at that time owning a 27.26 per cent stake in NDTV.
Apart from the share acquisition through RRPR, Adani Group also launched an open offer to purchase NDTV shares from public shareholders. The multinational conglomerate management to purchase a 37 per cent stake through the open offer.