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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

NDTV Share Hits Highest Circuit on Adani Group Takeover Bid

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NDTV’s share price rose 5 percent, reaching the upper circuit at the opening of trading on Wednesday, a day after the Adanic group launched a hostile bid to take over the media house.



The stock climbed 5 percent to Rs 384.50 – both its upper circuit cap and 52-week high – on the BSE after the start of trading on a positive note.

The company’s market cap climbed Rs 117.99 crore to Rs 2,478.92 crore on the BSE.

On the NSE, it jumped 4.99 percent to Rs 388.20 – the upper circuit limit and also the one-year peak.

After a decline in opening trading, the benchmark of 30 stocks Sensex traded 87 points higher at 59,118.24 points in late morning trading.

In a move that has significant implications for the media landscape, billionaire Gautam Adani launched a hostile bid to take it over on Tuesday NDTVfirst with an indirect acquisition of a 29.18 percent stake in the broadcaster, followed by an offer to buy out another 26 percent majority stake.

On Tuesday, the owners of New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV), a popular news channel, said they were completely unaware of the takeover until Tuesday and that it happened without their consent or any discussion.

Three companies of the Adani group – Visvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL) along with AMG Media Networks and Adani Enterprises Ltd – have made a public announcement for the offer under the Sebi standards.

The open offer to acquire another 26 percent or 1.67 crore shares in NDTV is worth close to Rs 493 crore.

The offer price is Rs 294 per share, 19.71 percent lower than Tuesday’s closing price.

NDTV’s share price, which is up more than 300 percent so far this year, closed on Tuesday at Rs 366.20 apiece on BSE.

If the open offer succeeds, the Adani group will have a stake of more than 55 percent in NDTV.

As the Adani group looks to boost media investment as part of an ambitious expansion plan, a group firm first acquired a company historically affiliated with rival billionaire Mukesh Ambanic.

The particular company had loaned Rs 250 crore to NDTV in 2008-09 and the Adani group company now exercised the option to convert that debt into a 29.18 percent stake in the news channel company.

It subsequently made an open offer for an additional 26 percent of the shares, the group said in a statement on Tuesday.

“AMVL’s wholly owned subsidiary VCPL has warrants from RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd (RRPR) giving the right to convert them into a 99.9 percent stake in RRPR. VCPL has exercised warrants to acquire 99.5% in RRPR,” it said.

Such an acquisition will result in VCPL acquiring control of RRPR.

“RRPR is a promoter group of NDTV and has a 29.18 percent stake in NDTV,” the statement said.

On Tuesday, NDTV said the exercise of the right was carried out by VCPL without any input from the company or its founders.

In an internal communication to its employees on Tuesday, NDTV said that “today’s developments are completely unexpected for NDTV, and for Radhika and Prannoy”.

“We are evaluating next steps, many of which involve regulatory and legal processes,” it added.

The bid for NDTV will be the Adani group’s most talked-about bet in the media sector, where Ambani already has a significant presence through Network18, which operates a large number of channels, including news channel CNN-News18 and business channel CNBC-TV18.

Last year, Adani Media Ventures Ltd (AMVL), the media arm under the group’s flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd, had acquired digital business news platform Quintillion Business Media Pvt Ltd (QBM).

NDTV had a turnover of Rs 421 crore with an EBITDA of Rs 123 crore and a net profit of Rs 85 crore in FY22, with negligible debt.

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