India’s NDTV rises 5% after Adani makes bid ‘without consent’

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NDTV said Adani swooped in “without any input from, conversation with, or consent of the NDTV founders”.

NDTV has often taken a critical stance on government policy and has been the target of income tax raids in recent years. Adani, meanwhile, is seen as close to the powerful administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Almost the last bastion of Independent journalism being taken over by industry,” Kapil Sibal, a former government minister and a top lawyer, said on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

“We should be worried!”

Adani could not immediately be reached for comment.

A unit of the Adani Group said it had used financial rights in a bid to buy a 29.18% stake in NDTV, with a plan for a subsequent open offer for a stake of another 26% in line with Indian regulations.

Hours after the announcement, NDTV said an Adani entity exercised its rights based on a loan agreement with NDTV’s founders in 2009-10.

Shares of NDTV, with a market valuation of about $300 million, jumped to as much as 388.20 rupees ($4.86), their highest since August 2008.

Adani said its open-offer bid would only be for 294 rupees ($3.68) per NDTV share, which would be worth 4.93 billion rupees.

($1 = 79.8380 Indian rupees)