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Ready to complete process to buy additional 26% stake in NDTV, says Adani Group

New Delhi: Adani Group said on Wednesday that it is committed to seeing the process through and has requested feedback from SEBI on its draught open offer letter after missing the deadline for launching an open offer to purchase an additional 26% interest in NDTV, The Business Standard reported.

The conglomerate, led by India’s richest man Gautam Adani, acquired a little-known firm in August in exchange for warrants that permitted the purchase of a 29.18% stake in the news organisation at any moment. This company had financed the founders of NDTV more than Rs 400 crore more than ten years prior.

Following that, Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL), the company that the Adani group acquired, declared that it will launch an open offer on October 17 to acquire an additional 26% interest from NDTV’s minority shareholders.

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VCPL has requested SEBI “to offer its opinions on the Draft Letter of Offer filed in respect to the Open Offer, in compliance with the SEBI (SAST) Regulations,” according to a stock exchange filing by Adani Enterprises Ltd.

At an offer price of Rs 294 per share, VCPL, AMG Media Networks, and Adani Enterprises Ltd. offered to purchase an additional 26%, or 1.67 crore equity shares.

On the BSE, NDTV shares closed on Wednesday at Rs 332.90 a share, a 13% premium to the open offer price of Rs 294 per share.

“The decision to acquire NDTV was arrived at in furtherance of the Adani Group’s objective to set up a credible next generation media platform with emphasis on digital and broadcast segments, and that NDTV is a suitable broadcast and digital platform to deliver on this vision,” the filing said.

According to a JM Financial advertisement, the company in charge of managing the open offer on Adani’s behalf, the open offer was scheduled to begin trading on October 17.

“While the Underlying Transaction has not been consummated due to the stance being taken by RRPR (the promoter of NDTV), VCPL is committed to its vision and intends to proceed with the open offer in accordance with the provisions of the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeover) Regulations, 2011 (SEBI (SAST) Regulations), which require that the Open Offer be completed regardless of whether the Underlying Transaction has been consummated”.

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According to the filing, on behalf of VCPL, JM Financial sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on October 19, 2022. JM Financial, the company in charge of handling the offer, had previously announced that the open offer would likely end on November 1.

The open offer will cost Rs 492.81 crore at a price of Rs 294 per share if it is fully subscribed.

The promoters who founded NDTV disagreed, claiming that the acquisition needed approval from both Sebi and the Income Tax Department in order to move forward.

Previous assertions that the substantial stake sale by the NDTV founders would need tax authority approval were disputed by Adani Group.

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