Billionaire Gautam Adani said in an interview with the Financial Times on Friday that the takeover of New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) is a “responsibility” rather than a business opportunity.
The Ports to Energy conglomerate run by Adani, Asia’s richest person, revealed plans in late August to acquire a majority stake in NDTV, seen as a bastion of independent media.
The takeover attempt raised concerns among journalists and politicians that the change of ownership could undermine NDTV’s editorial integrity.
Established in 1988 and owned by husband and wife team Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, NDTV previously said that the move by the Adani Group “was carried out without any input, conversation with or approval of the NDTV founders”.
Adani hails from Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s main opposition Congress party has long accused Adani and other billionaires of receiving preferential political treatment from the Modi federal administration.
“Independence means that if the government does something wrong, you say it’s wrong,” Adani said in an interview with the Financial Times. “But at the same time, you have to be brave when the government is doing the right thing every single day. You have to say that, too.”
Al-Adani added that he has invited Prannoy Roy, the founder of NDTV, to stay on as chairman when the acquisition is completed.
NDTV’s business competitors include Times Group’s Times Now and Network18’s CNN-News18, which is controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
Adani also said in the interview that he plans to invest more than $4 billion in a petrochemical complex in Gujarat.
He plans to launch a “super app” in the next three to six months to connect Adani Airport passengers with other services of the Adani Group, according to the report.
Also Read: Gautam Adani says he will invest $4 billion in petrochemical complex, launch super app: Report