VCPL to contest SEBI order on NDTV share acquisition

VCPL to contest SEBI order on NDTV share acquisition

MUMBAI: Following the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)?s directive to make an open offer for acquiring NDTV shares, Vishvapradhan Commercial Pvt Ltd (VCPL) has decided to appeal against the order with the Securities Appellate Tribunal.

Markets regulator SEBI had directed few days back VCPL to make an open offer within 45 days to acquire 52 per cent stake in the financially beleaguered NDTV Ltd, considered a nursery for many of today?s news television stalwarts.

A report in Business Standard yesterday quoted unnamed sources confirming the move to appeal against the SEBI order in the appellate tribunal.

VCPL had indirectly acquired controlling stake of up to 52 per cent stake of the media company without making an open offer, according to SEBI, which ordered VCPL to pay an interest of 10 per cent along with the offer price for allegedly violating the takeover norms of the SEBI Act.

"The elaborate mechanism adopted by the noticee (VCPL) and its associates appear to be solely to deflect attention from this acquisition and thus covetously overcome the obligations imposed by the takeover regulations," SEBI had earlier observed while passing strictures against VCPL.

NDTV, one of the earliest private sector broadcasting company, was founded by Prannoy Roy and family along with close associates. However, in the last few years, fortunes of NDTV, which owns and runs a couple of news channels, has dipped with the arrival of more aggressive news channels. A contentious and lengthy fight with government agencies over disputed tax claims too has eroded the media company?s brand and financial value.

A market listed company, NDTV?s share prices have appreciated over the last few days after SEBI?s initial order relating to VCPL.

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