NDTV denies reports of takeover by SpiceJet

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New Delhi Television witnessed rally on bourses on Friday's trade after reports said that founder and owner of SpiceJet, Ajay Singh has picked up a majority stake in the news channel.

The source has told the newspaper that after the deal Singh will hold 40 percent stake in the company and founders Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy will hold 20 percent each.

But according to a SpiceJet official,"It's absolutely false and baseless".

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) data showed the promoter holding in NDTV as of June 2017 stood at 61.45% and the public shareholding was at 38.55%.

One of the sources said Singh, who acquired SpiceJet in January 2015 and turned it around, will also pick up NDTV's debt of more than Rs 400 crore.

When asked if NDTV has been sold to SpiceJet's Ajay Singh, the source said, "Yes, the deal has been finalised and Ajay Singh will take control of NDTV along with editorial rights". It is said about ₹100 crore will go to the Roys. There has been no response from the NDTV officials.

In June this year, the banking fraud unit of the Central Bureau of Investigation had raided and conducted searches at the residence and offices of Prannoy and Radhika Roy over allegations of bank fraud, a charge that the husband and wife duo vociferously denied terming it as "an attempt to muzzle the free media". Singh played a role in 2014 Lok Sabha campaign of the BJP as part of the core advertising/campaigning team.

Singh demonstrated a similar magic touch when he took over SpiceJet in 2015, at a time it was dwindling, and transformed it into one of the most successful low-priced airlines in India.

"Singh is involved with Bhartiya Janata Party and he also coined the slogan "Abki Baar Modi Sarkar."

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