Mumbai: Indian billionaire Gautam Adani is seeking to boost his media investments in an ambitious expansion plan, as he diversifies his conglomerate from its shipping and coal-mining roots. The Adani group is exploring buying stakes in some local television and print news outlets while a few have approached the conglomerate also to study potential deals.
Media is the latest frontier for Adani, 59, in a simmering rivalry with compatriot Mukesh Ambani, 65, as the two compete to dominate India’s $2.7 trillion economy. Just weeks ago, the younger tycoon dethroned the latter as Asia’s richest man. Like Ambani, who expanded from oil refining and petrochemicals into telecommunications, retail, technology and media, Adani is also widening his footprint by adding airports, data centers and other businesses to his empire. Both have unveiled a combined investment of about $146 billion in green energy over the next few decades.
Just last month, Adani Enterprises Ltd. established AMG Media Networks, an arm it said would be in the business of publishing, advertising, broadcasting, distribution of content over different types of media networks. In March, Adani Media Ventures ltd. agreed to buy a stake in Quintillion Business Media, according to a statement. Quintillion was an Indian partner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News.
The Adani Group will focus on acquisitions to expand rapidly rather than starting outlets from the ground up, the people said. While approaching prospective targets, it has offered to remain a financial investor and refrain from interfering in the editorial decisions of the organizations, two of the people said. The conglomerate hired Sanjay Pugalia last year to head Adani Media Ventures as it sharpened the focus on the sector.