India's NDTV shares rise as founders plan to sell stake to Adani

New Delhi Television (NDTV) microphone is seen on roadside in New Delhi
A microphone of New Delhi Television (NDTV) is placed on a tripod along a roadside in New Delhi, India, August 26, 2022. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

BENGALURU, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Shares of Indian news broadcaster New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV.NS) rose over 4% on Monday after founders Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy said they would transfer their 27.26% stake in the company to the Adani Group.

After the deal, the Indian conglomerate, led by billionaire Gautam Adani, will control 64.71% of NDTV, while the founders will retain a combined 5%.

Investors might take interest in NDTV's stock in hopes of improving financials, said N. Chandramouli, chief executive of TRA Research.

Over the last four quarters, the broadcaster raked in revenues in the range of 900 million rupees ($10.88 million) to 1.20 billion rupees. In comparison, rival TV18 Broadcast Ltd (TVEB.NS) has amassed revenues in the range of 12.7 billion rupees to 15.7 billion rupees.

"NDTV has been very circumspect about who they take in as advertisers. They don't use Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data," Chandramouli said, adding, with the new management the channel could be more open to other advertisers.

A majority of news channels in India use BARC's television audience viewership data, an important metric to draw advertisements.

A large chunk of revenue for news channels in India comes from advertising.

Both NDTV and TV18 had flagged reducing ad revenues in the September quarter.

"The management is aware that advertising in the news genre is shrinking this year and business plans are being handled accordingly to mitigate any risks," NDTV had said in its September-quarter results update.

TV18 also said its second-quarter revenue fell year-over-year "primarily due to de-growth in advertising revenue."

NDTV on Friday also appointed the chief of Adani's media unit AMG Media Network, Sanjay Pugalia, and Senthil Chengalvarayan as non-executive non-independent directors.

Shares of NDTV were last up 2.4% at 348.70 rupees, which was at a discount to the 368.43 rupees per share at which the Roys sold their stake.

($1 = 82.7480 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Eileen Soreng

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.