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NDTV promoters move Supreme Court against SAT order

NDTV promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy have moved Supreme Court (SC) against the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) order asking them to pay Rs 5 crore as a penalty in the loan agreement case, the television informed on Tuesday.

The SEBI had imposed a Rs 25 crore penalty on Roys in 2020. However, the SAT reduced it to Rs 5 crore in July this year.

“Dr Prannoy Roy and Mrs Radhika Roy (“Founder-Promoters”) and RRPR Holding Private Limited (“Promoter Group”) have informed New Delhi Television Limited (“NDTV”) that they have each filed a civil appeal in the Hon’ble Supreme Court against the order dated July 20, 2022 wherein the SAT asked them to pay Rs 5 crores as penalty for the alleged non-disclosure of loan agreements entered by them,” the NDTV said in an exchange filing.

In December 2020, Sebi imposed a penalty on the promoters for ‘violating various securities’ norms by not disclosing information on certain loan agreements to shareholders. The markets regulator said that the loan agreements had some clauses that had an adversarial effect on the NDTV shareholders.

The regulator had received a complaint in 2017 from Quantum Securities Pvt Ltd, a shareholder of NDTV. The complaint was about the loan agreements with VCPL (Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Ltd), which was recently taken over by Adani Group.

As per the complaint, one loan agreement was with ICICI Bank, and two were with VCPL. An agreement was signed in 2009 with VCPL for a loan of Rs 350 crore to repay the ICICI Bank loan and a second loan agreement with VCPL was signed for Rs 53.85 crore in 2010. These loan agreements had some clauses that substantially affected the functioning of NDTV, the markets regulator said.

The Sebi referred to one of the terms of loan agreements that allowed VCPL to indirectly acquire 30 per cent shareholding of NDTV through the conversion of warrants into equity shares of RRPR Holding – which eventually happened last month when Adani Group announced that it had acquired VCPL and was executing warrants with the company. PTI

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