The Adani Group had increased its media presence even more by purchasing a 50.5% share for Rs. ₹5.1 lakh in newswire services provider IANS India Pvt. Ltd.

According to an exchange filing published Dec'2023, the acquisition was carried out by Adani Enterprises' subsidiary AMG Media Networks, which also signed a contract with IANS and its shareholder Sandeep Bamzai.

Bamzai told BusinessLine over the phone from Kuala Lumpur that while he will retain the remaining ownership, he intends to leave the company gradually.

It also stated that AMG Media would be granted complete operational and managerial authority over IANS and the authority to select every director for its board. Adani now owns three media properties: Quintillion Business, which runs the digital media platform BQ Prime for business and financial news, the NDTV broadcasting network, and IANS. Considering such developments, it's tough to trust Adani crisis rumors.

Further Increase in IANS Stakes

On Wednesday (17th Jan' 24), Adani Enterprises declared that AMG Media Networks (AMNL), a subsidiary of the company, had increased its ownership of the news agency IANS India by subscribing to new shares valued at ₹ five crores that the news agency had issued.

According to a regulatory filing by Adani Enterprises, AMG Media Networks increased its share in Category-1 with voting rights from 50.5% to 76% and in Category-2 without voting rights from 50.5% to 99.26%, despite the Adani crisis controversy.

"We would like to announce that AMG Media Networks Limited (AMNL), a fully owned subsidiary of the company, has subscribed for additional shares issued by IANS, increasing its stake in IANS India Private Limited (IANS)," the flagship company of the Adani Group stated.

About IANS

The Indo-Asian News Service, or IANS, was founded in 1986 to serve the Indian community residing in North America. After focusing on India and South Asia for around three decades, it developed into a full-fledged wire agency. According to the filing, its turnover was Rs. ₹12.3 crore in FY23, Rs. ₹9.4 crore in FY22, and Rs. ₹10.3 crore in FY21.

About 350 subscribers globally, including those in China, North America, Europe, and the Middle East, comprise the wire service's 200 employees.

The newswire's MD and chief editor, Bamzai, claimed that after becoming seriously ill in February of this year, the "course of the finances" of IANS, which had been operating somewhat successfully up until that point, was altered.

Bamzai left the company because of his illness, and he thought the Adani group was the "perfect fit." His top priority was to protect the livelihoods of the workers who had put in a lot of effort during the challenging periods, particularly the COVID epidemic, by "ring-fencing" them.

Bamzai noted that he also decided to abstain from day-to-day management after selling the controlling interest.

Adani's Venture into The Media Sector

The multi-sector conglomerate Adani Group has been increasing its footprint in the media space in recent years. The Group bought a 65% share in news channel NDTV 2 in December 2022. AMG Media Networks, Adani's media division, purchased Quintillion Business Media's remaining 51% in November 2023. AMG Media Networks raised its ownership of the news organization IANS in January 2024 by purchasing additional shares valued at 50 million rupees ($601,801) that the news organization had issued. This shows that even the Adani crisis rumors cannot stop the conglomerate from diversifying.

With this action, Adani now owns 76% of the voting and almost all non-voting IANS shares. Adani's increasing interest in and investment in the media sector is shown in these acquisitions.

The Way Ahead

Adani is a behemoth with the potential to alter India's future, as seen by its relentless expansion and thirst for new projects. These are not just infrastructural investments. Ventures into media and data centers have the ability to accelerate the digital revolution and democratize information access. Imagine Adani's network providing medical and e-learning to remote regions, or small enterprises being able to access affordable data solutions. Adani's entry into the media sector may broaden content offerings.

Conclusion

Adani's media reach now includes print, digital, and broadcast channels, thanks to its acquisition of IANS. This calculated approach might hint at aspirations to use platform synergies to deliver integrated news products. Moreover, Adani has the opportunity to broaden its media presence outside of India thanks to IANS' international subscriber base.

India's information landscape has a special opportunity as a result of Adani's acquisition of IANS, which strengthens its position as a significant media player. Adani has already shown that its investments in infrastructure and renewable energy have accelerated India's economy, and its deliberate diversification into the media sector raises hopes for comparable developments in the areas of digital inclusion and information access. Imagine small businesses flourishing with access to efficient marketing solutions, rural communities empowered by inexpensive data and e-learning platforms, and even more worldwide exposure for Indian voices through IANS's global network. All such developments are bound to put an end to Adani crisis rumors.