Adani Group Acquires Majority Stake In News Agency IANS For Undisclosed Sum

Indian billionaires continue to follow their global counterparts by snapping up prominent media portals.

The Adani Group has acquired a majority stake in news agency IANS. The acquisition price wasn’t disclosed. “AMG Media Networks Ltd has acquired a 50.50 per cent stake constituting equity shares of IANS India Pvt Ltd,” Adani Enterprises told stock exchanges in a filing.

The Adani Group will now control all major aspects of IANS. “All operational and management control of IANS will be with AMNL, and AMNL will have the right to appoint all directors of IANS,” the filing said. “Pursuant to the acquisition as set out above, IANS is now a subsidiary of AMNL,” it added.

IANS, or Indo-Asian News Service, was founded in 1986 by American publisher Gopal Raju. It is now headquartered in Noida, and its wire service reports news, views and analysis in English and Hindi. These are then picked up by prominent news outlets, TV channels and websites. The company had reported a revenue of Rs. 11.86 crore in FY23.

While Rs. 11 crore in revenue would be no more thana rounding error for the multi-billion dollar Adani Group, IANS could help the group exercise some control on the media discourse in India. IANS’ wire service is used by most prominent publications, and having access to such as asset could help the Adani Group in setting the media narrative. This isn’t the first time that the Adani Group has acquired media companies. Last year, it had picked up a majority stake in Quintillion Business Media, which operates business and financial news digital media platform BQ Prime. Later it had also acquired control of left-leaning news platform NDTV. With IANS now also in its kitty, the Adani Group can end up having a sizable media presence.

And this is something that comes with the territory of operating a multi-billion dollar group. Reliance owns a stake in TV-18, and indirectly controls channels including CNBC-TV 18, Moneycontrol and News 18. Abroad, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim owns a stake in The New York Times, and most recently, Elon Musk bought Twitter outright. With a media atmosphere as outspoken and influential as today’s, billionaires seem to realize that these investments might be all but necessary in order to maintain some semblance of control over the public discourse around their personal brands — and their business empires.