Asia’s richest man paves way to acquire NDTV

Gautam Adani

Indian news media company New Delhi Television saw its shares jump to a 14-year high on Wednesday after it was revealed that Asia’s richest man has acquired almost a third of the business.

Gautam Adani, who has a net worth of US$139.4 billion, has picked up just shy of 30% of NDTV via his Adani Group, and has indicated that it could further invest to take full control of the broadcaster. 

A full takeover however looks unlikely at present, with NDTV shares significantly increasing far beyond what Adani said he would pay in a subsequent mandatory open offer.

In an Indian market where billionaires regularly buy up media organisations, NDTV has stated its concern that it could be in a similar situation to the likes of CNN-News18, which is controlled by Mukesh Ambani.

The broadcaster, which is one of the country’s few media groups that is critical of prime minister Narendra Modi, said that Adani’s rights buy happened “without any input from, conversation with, or consent of the NDTV founders,” via a memo to staff from senior NDTV official Suparna Sing.

Sing also described the development as “totally unexpected” and said: “We are in the process of evaluating the next steps, many of which involve regulatory and legal processes.”

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