Signage of the New Delhi Television Ltd. (NDTV) on a car parked inside a parking compound in New Delhi. Image Credit: Bloomberg

New Delhi: The founders of New Delhi Television Ltd. resigned from the board of the holding company that owns a major stake in the Indian broadcaster as Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani, gains ground in the hostile takeover battle.

Prannoy and Radhika Roy, the husband and wife journalist team who set up the media house in the 1980s, stepped down from RRPR Holding Pvt., NDTV said in a statement late Tuesday. The vehicle owns an almost 30% stake in NDTV and was indirectly acquired by the Adani Group in August - triggering a wider open offer by the powerful Indian tycoon to buy a further 26% in the media company.

RRPR appointed two Adani Group executives - Sudipta Bhattacharya and Sanjay Pugalia - to the board, as well as Senthil Chengalvarayan, a journalist who is an independent director at Quintillion Business Media Pvt., another media firm in which Adani bought a stake in earlier this year.

The board recast shows the takeover battle is entering its final stages, overruling Roys’ opposition amid wider concerns that the transaction would erode press freedom.

The Roys didn’t respond to messages seeking comment. The duo own 32.3% in the media firm as of quarter ended Sept. 30. They continue to be directors on the board of NDTV, according to information available on the BSE website.

Adani told the Financial Times this month that he intends to scale up NDTV to make it an international media group and had asked Prannoy Roy to remain as chair.