Adani Group buys remaining 51% stake in BQ Prime publisher Quintillion
The undisclosed acquisition is the result of Adani Group's initial foray into the Indian news industry, before it acquired nearly 65% stake in NDTV in December 2022
Adani Enterprises Ltd, owned by Gautam Adani, has acquired the remaining 51 per cent stake in Quintillion Business Media Pvt Ltd (QBML) to take full control of the Raghav Bahl-curated digital business news platform for an undisclosed amount.
In a stock exchange filing, Adani Enterprises Ltd, the ports-to-energy conglomerate's flagship firm, said its subsidiary AMG Media Networks Ltd "has executed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of remaining 51 per cent stake in QBML", the firm which operates the business and financial news digital media platform BQ Prime. The acquisition was announced without disclosing the financial details.
Quintillion was Adani's first bet in the Indian news industry before it acquired a nearly 65 per cent stake in broadcaster NDTV in December 2022. AMG Media had previously bought a 49 per cent stake in QBML for Rs 47.84 crore. QBML will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMG Media Networks following the acquisition, the filing added.
"The SPA records the terms of the agreement and inter-se rights and obligations and other connected matters in respect of the acquisition of remaining 51 percent equity shares of QBML by AMNL from Quintillion Media Ltd (QML)," Adani Enterprises said in the filing.
Known earlier as Bloomberg Quint, BQ Prime was a former joint venture between US-based financial news agency Bloomberg Media and Bahl's Quintillion Media. Bloomberg exited the agreement in March 2022.
Adani Group had set up AMG Media Networks for its foray into the businesses of "publishing, advertising, broadcasting, distribution of content over different types of media networks".
In May 2022, AMG Media entered into a shareholders' agreement with QML for the acquisition of QBML. Eight months before that, in September 2021, AMG Media Networks appointed veteran journalist Sanjay Pugalia to lead Adani Media Ventures, its media-focused company.
In December 2022, the Adani Group gained full control of NDTV after it acquired most of the stake held by founders Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, at a premium of almost 17 per cent over the rate it paid to minority shareholders of the firm.
On 30 December, 2022, AMG Media Networks Ltd (AMNL) acquired a 27.26 per cent stake in NDTV through its subsidiary RRPR Holding Private Limited, granting AMNL a controlling interest of 64.71 per cent in the media company. The Roys still hold a 2.5 per cent stake each in NDTV.
In May 2023, the NDTV board had approved the proposal to request the Union ministry of information & broadcasting for permission to launch nine regional news channels in different Indian languages. The meeting was held on 17 May.
When the ministry approved its plans in August, NDTV’s shares jumped 4 per cent. In a filing with the exchanges, the organisation said it had received the ministry’s approval to uplink and downlink four news and current affairs channels — NDTV Rajasthan, NDTV Madhya Pradesh/ Chhattisgarh, NDTV Gujarati and NDTV Marathi.
Between August and September 2023, the company launched two regional channels — NDTV Rajasthan and NDTV Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh. NDTV Rajasthan was launched on 5 September, while NDTV Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh went live on 21 August.
In another exchange filing in September 2023, NDTV said the ministry had also approved "uplink and downlink of three news and current affairs channels in high definition, namely NDTV 24x7 HD, NDTV India HD, and NDTV Profit HD.