Adani NDTV
Adani Group bought an indirect 29.2% stake in NDTV earlier this week and offered to buy 26% more from the open market. Image Credit: Vijith Pulikkal/ Gulf News

Mumbai: Adani Enterprises said it does not see the need for a prior approval from the local markets regulator to buy into New Delhi Television Ltd, intensifying the takeover battle around the media firm.

The flagship company controlled by Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest person, told exchanges Friday that the move by one of its newly-acquired units to exercise warrants in NDTV’s founders firm is not a violation of an earlier order by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

NDTV, as the news broadcaster is commonly known, had said Thursday that a prior regulatory nod is needed as SEBI barred its founders and current owners - Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy - from dealing in shares for two years through November 26. The ports-to-power conglomerate rebutted this assertion.

The contentions by NDTV’s founders firm are “baseless, legally untenable and devoid of merit,” Adani Enterprises said in a filing Friday. It also said that the founders’ firm needed to “immediately perform its obligation and allot the equity shares” as there’s no direct or indirect dealing in shares by the Roys.

Adani Group bought an indirect 29.2 per cent stake in NDTV earlier this week and offered to buy 26 per cent more from the open market. NDTV and its founders said later they neither knew about this nor consented to this stake sale.

While the markets regulator’s stance on this remains to be seen, the latest salvo from the tycoon’s group signals an intense legal face-off is brewing.

Investors appeared to cheer the deal for its potential to unlock value in NDTV. The broadcaster’s shares rose by the daily limit of 5 per cent for the third straight session during trading on Friday, pushing this year’s surge to more than 269 per cent.