The wealthiest billionaire in Asia, Gautam Adani, has stated that he views buying the news channel NDTV as a “duty” rather than a commercial opportunity.
The Gujarat-based entrepreneur dispelled worries that the attempt to buy the television channel run by Prannoy Roy would undermine press freedom in an interview with the media.
Adani stated that “independence implies if government has done something wrong, you say it’s wrong.” “But at the same time, you should have the guts to stand up for what’s right when the government does it every day. You must include that as well.
The ports-to-energy conglomerate run by Adani had unveiled plans late in August to acquire a majority stake in NDTV. The takeover attempt has triggered concern among journalists and politicians that a change of ownership could undermine NDTV’s editorial integrity.
The tycoon, who leapt up all the global wealth rankings over the past year, indicated that he didn’t intend to stop after swallowing NDTV in what is being characterised as a hostile takeover. He said he intended to build a global media organisation that could match the influence and the footprint of the Financial Times and television powerhouse Al Jazeera.
Adani claimed that the expense of establishing a worldwide media organisation was “negligible” for the company. The market capitalization of Adani’s seven publicly traded firms is over $225 billion (about Rs 18.2 lakh crore).
After taking over Vishwapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd in August, the Adani group formally claimed its ownership of 29.18% of NDTV. Under the rules set forth by Sebi for share purchase, it started an open offer for an additional 26% on Tuesday (November 22). In response to the open offer, which expires on December 5, shares totaling more than 6% of the total stock have already been received.
When the transaction is finished, the billionaire said he has invited Prannoy Roy to continue serving as chair, according to Reuters. Adani made it clear that his company was closely aligned with the government’s development ambitions and did not hide his close relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.