New Delhi: Billionaire Gautam Adani’s group has acquired a 50.5% stake in news agency IANS India Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed sum, adding to its growing portfolio of media assets. The group had earlier taken over NDTV, one of India’s leading news channels, in a controversial deal.
According to a regulatory filing by Adani Enterprises, the group’s flagship company, its subsidiary AMG Media Networks Ltd (AMNL) has bought the stake in IANS from its existing shareholders, including founder and editor-in-chief Gopal Raju. The deal gives AMNL the operational and management control of IANS, as well as the right to appoint all directors of the news agency. AMNL has also acquired voting rights in the company, making IANS a subsidiary of AMNL, similar to NDTV.
IANS, which was established in 1986, is one of India’s largest independent news agencies, providing news, features, and analysis to over 200 media outlets, both in India and abroad. It has a network of over 500 journalists and stringers across the country and abroad, covering various beats and sectors. It also offers multimedia content, including photos, videos, and podcasts.
The acquisition of IANS is seen as part of Adani’s strategy to expand its presence and influence in the media space, which has been facing challenges due to the economic slowdown, regulatory hurdles, and political pressures. Adani, who is widely regarded as a close ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been accused of using his media assets to further his business interests and promote the government’s agenda. Critics have also raised concerns over the impact of Adani’s media acquisitions on the diversity and independence of the news industry in India.