Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy bow out of NDTV

Prannoy & Radhika Roy out of NDTV
Prannoy & Radhika Roy out of NDTV

by 5paisa Research Team Last Updated: Dec 09, 2022 - 01:54 pm 8.7k Views
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In a way, it marked the end of an era. With the resignation of Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy from the board of RRPR Holdings Private Limited, it marks the end of the road for two pioneers in television journalism. In a sense, Prannoy Roy was synonymous with high quality reporting on TV, which started with his extremely incisive election analysis in 1984, which was followed by the launch of NDTV, which became the media vehicle for the group. Over the years, the company had increasingly gotten into financial troubles and the takeover of NDTV by Adani, look like the last scene of the act.

Here is a small point to note. At one point, the Roy family held over 60% in NDTV. While 32% was held in their individual names, about 29.15% was held through their holding company vehicle RRPR Holdings Private Ltd. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, when the Roy family had been crunched for cash, they had borrowed money from the bank. Since the cost was prohibitive, the loan had been taken over by VCPL, supported by pledge of RRPR shares. Subsequently, VCPL was acquired by Adani family, which meant, Roy family had to either repay the loan or give up the entire stake in RRPR. They did the latter.

Prima facie, it looks liked like the Roy family is still the dominant holder with 32% stake in NDTV. However, the Adani group has acquired 29.15% through RRPR Holdings Private Ltd and currently an open offer is also underway. The Roy family had been hoping that the open offer would implode since the price was at a huge discount to the current market price. However, the response from minority shareholders was much better than expected, which possibly hastened the decision by the Roy family to resign from the board of RRPR Holdings. For now, they continue on the board of NDTV, but it may just be a matter of time now.

The first move of taking control was visible almost immediately. The Adani group appointed Sudipta Bhattacharya, Sanjay Pugalia and Senthil Chengalvarayan to the board of RRPR Holdings as directors. While Sudipta Bhattacharya is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Adani Group, Senthil and Sanjay are eminent names in the world of financial journalism. Both Senthil and Sanjay had long stints with CNBC India followed by a short stint at Bloomberg Quint, before they decided to drive the digital content initiatives of the Adani group. Adani group has some massive plans on the digital media front in India.

The open offer for another 26% in NDTV is currently underway and if they get close to that figure, then the Adani group would be having over 50% stake in NDTV, making them the dominant and the controlling shareholder in the NDTV group. In that case, it is very likely that either NDTV may look for an institutional seller or the Adani group may agree to buy out their stake. Either ways, this may be the end of NDTV as we may have known over the years.

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