Gautam Adani his push into the news media, including his acquisition of NDTV, is a “responsibility” rather than a business opportunity. In an interview with the British newspaper Financial Times, the Indian billionaire also claims that he had invited NDTV founder Prannoy Roy to remain as the network’s chair.
“Why can’t you support one media house to become independent and have a global footprint?” Adani asks in the interview, noting that India doesn’t have a single news outlet to compare with the likes of Financial Times or Al Jazeera.
The cost of creating an international media organisation, he says, will be “negligible” for his conglomerate.
AMG Media Networks Ltd, the fledgling media arm of Adani Enterprises, announced in August that it was buying a 29.18 percent stake in NDTV. The deal kicked in an open offer that would enable Adani’s company to acquire an additional 26 percent of the TV network and make it the majority shareholder. The offer began on November 22 and has reportedly secured Adani Enterprises 28 lakh shares so far. It ends on December 5.
Last week, NDTV’s committee of independent directors Adani’s open offer “fair and reasonable”. It noted, however, that since the offer kicked in, NDTV’s shares have been consistently trading at higher than the offer price and recommended NDTV’s public stakeholders to independently evaluate the open offer and the market performance of network’s shares, and take informed decisions accordingly.
Commenting on the freedom of the press, Adani tells the British paper, “Independence means if government has done something wrong, you say it’s wrong. But at the same time, you should have courage when the government is doing the right thing every day. You have to also say that.”
AMG Media Network earlier this year also a stake in the business news platform BQ Prime, formerly BloombergQuint.