CBI has blocked NDTV promoter Prannoy Roy’s attempts to monetize the 20 per cent shareholding in Malaysian TV Astro Awani before Gautam Adani’s takeover.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has blocked NDTV promoter Prannoy Roy’s attempts to monetize the 20 per cent shareholding in Malaysian TV Astro Awani before Gautam Adani’s takeover.
Astro Awani, owned by Malaysia’s Maxis Group, is embroiled in the 2006 Aircel-Maxis case, in which former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti are accused.
According to PGurus, NDTV, through its subsidiary, NDTV Networks, owns 20 per cent of the total share capital of Astro Awani Network Sdn Bhd. On November 9, the CBI wrote a letter blocking NDTV promoter Prannoy Roy’s attempts to sell these 20 per cent shares in the Astro Awani TV channel.
In 2016, ED informed the Court that ₹250 crores were received by NDTV from Maxis Group in 2007 as part of the bribery in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
NDTV refuted the claims of the CBI, ED, and Income Tax departments in a detailed statement: “The attempt to intimidate and paralyse NDTV has expanded to epic proportions in the last 24 hours. There are new attacks from the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.”
Adani is also eyeing buying the maximum stake in NDTV to have ownership of the company. In August, Adani Group indirectly acquired a 29.2 per cent stake in New Delhi Television Ltd by buying VCPL (the media company’s major shareholder). Since then, the Adani group has offered to buy another 26 per cent from the open market. NDTV slammed this move by Adani, saying it was without consent from the firm or its founders.
Accused in the Aircel-Maxis case, owners of the Maxis Group, T Ananda Krishnan and CEO Ralph Marshal, are fugitives and have not yet appeared in the Court handling the Aircel-Maxis trial.