Several reports have been floating around the internet since morning that media giant NDTV has sold its controlling stake to Ajay Singh, co-founder and owner of SpiceJet after the founders of the channel Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and promoter firm RRPR Holding Pvt Ltd faced a CBI probe for concealing a share transaction.
However, hours after, a report of Hindustan Times ridiculed all the rumours.
If the earlier reports are to be believed, a source has informed that Ajay Singh will have controlling stake in NDTV of around 40 per cent and the founders Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy will have around 20 per cent in the company.
The majority shares in the news channel have been taken by Ajay Singh who was also a part of the BJP’s 2014 poll campaign.
SpiceJet saviour also played a key role during elections and has also coined the famous slogan, “ab ki baar Modi sarkaar”.
Ajay was serving as officer on special duty in telecom and IT, and information and broadcasting ministry during NDA regime under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He was more close to late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan that catapulted him into the limelight.
Mahajan was the telecom and IT minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. “I learnt a lot from Mahajan. It was a delight to work with him. He was a great human being with unlimited dynamism," Singh has been quoted as saying in this Business Standard profile.
Not only this, Ajay is also a fond of Cricket and has also played with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan in school days when SRK was used to be a wicket-keeper.
“Sports inculcates the spirit of leadership and teamwork. It also teaches you how to act in adversity and press home advantages for your team. Running a business is very similar,” he told CNBC-TV18 in a recent interview.
A source close to the channel told leading daily that, “Yes, the deal has been finalised and Ajay Singh will take control of NDTV along with editorial rights.”
The Indian Express report further added that Ajay Singh will also pick up NDTV’s debt of over Rs 400 crore and the total deal is valued at around Rs 600 crore. The Roys will also have a part of the cash (up to Rs 100 crore).
However according to reports in The Hindu, the news of SpiceJet's Ajay Singh taking over majority holding in NDTV have been denied by sources of NDTV. Not only this but the channel will also release a formal statement on the issue by Friday evening.
Earlier a SpiceJet official said in a statement,“It’s absolutely false and baseless.”