Sun TV shares dip after ED attaches Marans’ assets

MUMBAI: South Indian media baron Kalanithi Maran and his brother, the former Union telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran owned Sun TV network is facing some tough times, with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) deciding to close down on the Marans for their alleged involvement in the Aircel-Maxis case.


This in turn has impacted the share price of Sun TV on the bourses. The company’s share prices slumped over 9.44 per cent and closed at Rs 411 on 6 April at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), this against the previous close at Rs 453.85. On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the scrip fell 10 per cent closing at Rs 410.40 as against its previous close of Rs 456.


The market has reacted to the steps taken by the ED, which had issued an order to attach properties and assets worth Rs 742.58 crore belonging to Kalanithi Maran, his wife Kaveri Kalanithi and his brother Dayanidhi Maran.


The ED’s investigation has revealed that Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL) is promoted by Kalanithi Maran and Kaveri Kalanithi and they own 80 per cent of its shares. The shareholders of South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL) are Sun TV Network (60 per cent) and 20 per cent each are A.H. Multisoft Pvt Ltd and South Asia Multimedia Technologies Ltd., Mauritius. Kalanithi also holds 75 per cent of Sun TV Network Limited, while he and his wife own 90 per cent and 10 per cent respectively of Kal Comm Pvt. Ltd.


According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Dayanidhi Maran used his influence, while he was the Union telecom minister to help a Malaysian businessman, T. Ananda Krishnan, buy Aircel by pressurizing its owner C. Sivasankaran to part with his stake.


Sivasankaran has also alleged that Dayanidhi favoured the Maxis Group in the takeover of his firm. He also said that the company made investments through Astro Network in a firm, purportedly owned by the Marans.

As per reports, four companies, including the Chennai based Sun Direct, Britain based Astro All Asia Networks, Malaysia based Maxis Communications Berhad and the South Asia Entertainment Holdings of Mauritius, have also been named in charges filed on 29 August, 2014 by the CBI.


The CBI said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the accused and booked all the accused on the charges of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.


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