The Income-Tax (I-T) department is of the view that NDTV promoters Prannoy and Radhika Roy do not require any permission from the department to tender their stake in the news channel to Adani Group controlled company. This has been revealed in the disclosure made by one of the companies linked to the Adani Group to the stock exchanges.
Earlier, NDTV and the Roy’s had said that they required permission from market regulator SEBI to bring a closure of the deal and give their shares to Adani group linked company. But when SEBI officials were of the view that no such permission was required, the Roy’s told the stock exchanges that they would require a nod from the I-T department. Now, even the I-T department has said that no such permission was required and hence the Roy’s are not left with much options but to honour their agreement obligations and tender a large chunk of their shares in NDTV to the Adani Group linked company.
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The fact that no permission from I-T was required was revealed by Vishwapradhan Commercial Pvt. Ltd. (VCPL) to the stock exchanges on September 9. VCPL is the company that gave ₹403 crore 10 year interest free loan to the Roy’s in lieu of convertible warrants that had 29.18 per cent stake of NDTV as underlying. Since the Roy’s could not return the loan by 2019, VCPL was sold by its original promoter Mahendra Nahata to Adani Group. The warrants were exercised by Adani Group in August and they gained control over 29.18 per cent stake of the Roy’s in NDTV and have announced an open offer as per rules of market regulator SEBI to acquire further shares.
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However, the Roy’s had delayed tendering their 29.18 per cent shares to the Adani Group under the above mentioned pretext.
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“VCPL has informed Roy’s that it has sent a letter to SEBI on September 8 about its communication with I-T. The letter is based on the reply dated September 7, 2022 from the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Central Range 02, confirming there are no restrictions on RRRH (holding company of the Roy’s through which 29.18 per cent stake in NDTV was held) acting on VCPL exercise of options for converting its warrants,” VCPL disclosure to stock exchanges said.
Effectively, market regulator SEBI will have to allow the open offer to commence once the Roy’s have tendered their shares to the Adani Group, experts said.