India’s Adani group has publicly refuted claims made by New Delhi Television Ltd that a key stake sale by the company’s founders would necessitate approval from India’s tax authorities.
The majority share in the news network, a stronghold of independent journalism, was announced to be acquired by the Adani company owned by India’s wealthiest man, Gautam Adani, last week.
Late on Wednesday, NDTV reported that in 2017, the income tax authorities temporarily blocked NDTV founders Prannoy & Radhika Roy from selling a portion of their share as the parts of a reassessment of their tax.
Adani, though, said on Thursday that such clearance was unnecessary and also that the deal’s original creators had attempted to “inordinately delay” it.
After Adani’s statement, NDTV stock has risen for 6 straight days of trading, reaching the daily limit of 5% growth in Thursday morning session. The price per share is now higher than it has been in over 14 years.
Adani has purchased a relatively unknown Indian firm that lent the founders of NDTV $4 billion ($50 million) over a decade earlier in exchange for warrants allowing the firm to acquire little over 29% of the news business at any moment.
Adani Group announced last week that it had exercised those rights that NDTV claimed had been done without its agreement, crossing a threshold that required it to launch a tender bid to NDTV’s shareholders to buy a majority shareholding.
However, NDTV said that tax authorities were looking into whether the loans triggered a capital gains tax requirement, which would effectively halt Adani’s bid.
Adani Group issued a statement encouraging the Roys to move forward with the sale of their stock “without any further delay,” saying that the tax review only applied to the Roys’ investment business.
Since the Roys were previously banned from trading in India’s securities markets due to an insider trading issue, both parties have independently inquired as to whether or not the Roys were permitted to sell their ownership in the network.
Politicians and journalists are worried that a change in ownership of NDTV could compromise its editorial integrity because the network is widely seen as one of the few autonomous voices in India’s growing polarizing media scene.