Published: Sun, September 24, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

NDTV rallies 5% as SpiceJet's Ajay Singh picks up stake

NDTV rallies 5% as SpiceJet's Ajay Singh picks up stake

"Not even a single sentence of these reports is true", a senior NDTV official said.

"Yes, the deal has been finalised and Ajay Singh will take control of NDTV along with editorial rights, " a source has been quoted as saying in the report.

Following an "Indian Express" report that Spicejet CMD Ajay Singh is acquiring a 40% stake in Prannoy- and Radhika Roy-promoted NDTV, the latter has denied the report stating that the promoters have not signed any agreement with any person.

Prannoy Lal Roy and his wife Radhika Roy, who are the news channel's founders, will hold only 20 per cent stake in the company, according to a source.

On June 5 2017, the CBI had raided Roy couple's residence and office in connection with alleged non-payment of bank loan.

Ajay Singh, the turnaround man who saved SpiceJet, is in the news for his rumoured takeover of NDTV.

Last year, Former Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu had imposed a one-day ban on NDTV for its coverage of Pathankot attack. The CBI probe revolves around the parties allegedly concealing a share transaction.

A part of the cash (up to Rs 100 crore) will also go to the Roys.

Singh had served as OSD to Pramod Mahajan during the first NDA government and played an active role in the launch of DD Sports and was also behind the planning of DD News.

Singh holds Master's degree in Business Administration from Cornell University and Bachelor's Degree in Law from University of Delhi.

Singh is said to have been the brain behind the catchphrase, "Ab ki baar, Modi Sarkar" in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha election, that resulted in a landslide win for the BJP. RRPR which owns 29.2% equity in NDTV now, started borrowing money from financial institutions, starting from the Rs 501 crore loan from Indiabulls, then the Rs 375 crore loan from ICICI bank in 2008 and finally an interest free loan of Rs 350 crore from Vishvapradhan Commercial limited, reported to be connected through a web of companies to Reliance Industries then. In his two-and-a-half year stint there, the bus fleet was reported to have risen to 6000 from 300.

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