New Delhi: Hours after reports that NDTV has been sold out to SpiceJet’s Ajay Singh - a BJP man who wasr part of the party's 2014 campaign team, a highly placed source at the leading news channel claimed that the reports circulating in the media "is mere rumours" and "false".
As reported by the Hindu, a senior NDTV official said, “Not even a single sentence of these reports is true”.
A formal statement on the issue by the NDTV bosses is expected by today evening.
Thge media report, widely circulated ever since it was published today morning, claimed that Ajay Singh, co-founder and owner of SpiceJet, is set to take control of NDTV along with editorial rights, as he has purchased 40% stakes in the channel.
NDTV is regarded as one of the leading independent media house in India, famous for its leftist leaning and at times being ciritical of the establishment.
According to the reports, Ajay Singh was supposed to control around 40 per cent while the promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy will hold around 20 per cent in the company.
As per the Bombay Stock Exchange records, the promoter holding in NDTV as on June 2017 stood at 61.45 per cent, and public shareholding in the company is at 38.55 per cent, according to Indian Express.
The report quoting the unnamed source said the total deal is valued at around Rs 600 crore and Ajay Singh will also pick up NDTV's debt of over 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."
NDTV founders Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and promoter firm RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd are facing a CBI probe for allegedly concealing a share transaction.
On June 5 2017, the CBI had raided Roy couple's residence and office in connection with alleged non-payment of bank loan.
Calling the raids a “blatant attack on the freedom of the press,” NDTV, in a statement, said that the CBI had filed its FIR based on a “shoddy complaint” by a “disgruntled” former NDTV consultant who has not obtained a “single order from the courts.”
Ajay Singh was one of the core advertising/campaigning team of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 2014 election campaign.
During the campaigning of Narendra Modi, credit of 'ab ki baar Modi Sarkar,' was given to Ajay Singh.
Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Group who is also said to be close to Modi controls other leading media groups in the country.