Asia’s richest man Gautam Adani wants to buy the ownership of New Delhi Television (NDTV), known as the popular news media of India. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, his net worth is $135 billion. Adani is also believed to be close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
According to a BBC report, Adani is looking to buy a majority stake in NDTV. NDTV says such proposals have been made without any discussion or consent with the founders of the company. But Adani’s interest in buying NDTV has caught the attention of many in India. Because, he is known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
AGM Media Networks Limited (AMNL), a division of Adani Group, said in a statement on Tuesday that it plans to buy RRPR Holding, which owns 29.18 percent of NDTV. However, the amount of money spent for this has not been revealed. AMNL also said it is open to offers to buy another 26 percent stake in NDTV. If their offer is accepted, the majority ownership of NDTV will go to the Adani Group.
AMNL CEO Sanjay Pugalia said the completion of the purchase of NDTV will be a significant milestone in AMNL’s journey to pave the way for new age media across platforms.
NDTV said it learned about Adani’s intentions last Tuesday.
The NDTV group operates three channels and news websites. BBC India Business Correspondent Archana Shukla’s analysis says that while India’s television news market is being taken over by corporates, NDTV has not followed that path.
Journalists Radhika Roy and Prannoy Roy founded NDTV. NDTV is seen as one of the few media groups in India that criticize the policies of the Modi government.
Since Modi came to power in 2014, several allegations have been leveled against NDTV. These include allegations of money laundering and tax evasion. India’s investigative agency, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax department have filed multiple cases against its founders and broadcasters. Most of the cases are still not solved.
NDTV has been criticized for courting the opposition political party Congress. BJP representatives have occasionally refused to participate in interviews and panel discussions to protest against NDTV’s editorial policy. Narendra Modi has not given an interview to NDTV since becoming Prime Minister.
Now that Modi close Gautam Adani wants to buy NDTV, the question is whether he has any plans other than expanding his business empire.