NDTV to sell part of subsidiary to landlord, to pay outstanding rent

Media house NDTV seems to be in some tumultuous times. Late last year it was revealed that NDTV was laying off around 25% of its workforce via a “turnaround plan” which would see them go for a much “leaner operation” than before.

Today, NDTV informed the bourses via a regulatory filing that it had approved the sale of a part of their subsidiary, to their landlord. The filing further stated that this plan was approved at the last meeting of the Board of Directors and that the sale proceeds would be used to pay the outstanding rent.

In the filing, NDTV revealed that it had approved the sale of up to 7.38% stake of the Company @ Rs. 59,824/- per Equity share in Red Pixels Ventures Limited (RPVL), a subsidiary of NDTV, to A R Chadha And Co (India) Private Limited, the landlord of the office premises in New Delhi.

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This sale comes barely a year after they had approved the sale of its Indian wear e-commerce firm NDTV Ethnic Retail to Nameh Hotels & Resorts.

In December last year. NDTV’s editorial director had indirectly revealed at least one of the reasons for the financial stress NDTV is facing. A senior journalist with NDTV and wife of Congressman Sonia Singh had taken to social media to tweet that NDTV was not getting any “official” ads. If indeed “official ads” refers to Government ads, then the claim that they have stopped, and this has caused financial stress, meant that NDTV was running on the revenue of such ads for the past few years, including UPA’s tenure.

As per an RTI reply, The Government of India had paid a whopping Rs 15.33 crores as advertisement expenditure to NDTV and its group companies from 01/05/2014 to 30/06/2016. It is not known if anything had drastically changed since then:

As per the latest viewership numbers, NDTV is still languishing at a distant fifth in the top 5 English news channels

Besides the plummeting popularity, NDTV has other woes as well. The CBI is hot on the heels of the founders of NDTV, the Roy’s, for alleged bank fraud. The SEBI too had recently fined NDTV  for certain disclosure lapses. The Income Tax Department too is after the company for tax evasion. All in all, no acche din here.

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