“Today it has come to our knowledge through various news articles that Mr. Ravi Prakash, the former CEO of Associated Broadcasting Company Limited (“ABCL”) made complaints to investigating authorities by making some unfounded and baseless allegations against the current and former promoters of ABCL regarding transfer of shareholding from the former promoters (Chintalapati Holdings Private Limited and Ilabs Venture Capital Fund (“CHPL / Ilabs”)) to the current promoters (Alanda Media & Entertainments Private Limited (“Alanda”)).
In these complaints, it appears that Mr. Ravi Prakash has alleged that the sale consideration for the acquisition of shareholding was paid by way of cash and the hawala route was invoked for transferring the consideration.
On behalf of the current and former promoters, we are issuing this joint press release to inform one and all that there is not even an iota of truth in the false and baseless allegations made by Mr. Ravi Prakash.
These allegations are being made solely with an intent to divert attention from the ongoing criminal investigations against Ravi Prakash for his wrongful and fraudulent conduct.
As of August 2018, CHPL, Ilabs, Clifford Pereira and M.V.K.N. Murthy held a total shareholding of 90.54% in ABCL. On August 24, 2018, Alanda Media acquired the said shareholding from CHPL, Ilabs, Clifford Pereira and M.V.K.N. Murthy.
The entire consideration for the purchase of the said shareholding was made pursuant to duly executed Share Purchase Agreement and exclusively through the bank channels.
There were no cash payments. Alanda had infused Rs. 150 crores into ABCL to clear the outstanding dues and paid an amount of Rs. 264 crores to the former promoters and other shareholders towards consideration for transferring their shareholding.
The share consideration has been duly reflected in the records of the current and former promoters.
The Ministry of Information and Broad Casting, Government of India was also intimated about the said transfer. There is nothing clandestine about this transfer of shares and is done in accordance with the law.
The entire transfer happened in August, 2018. Mr. Ravi Prakash was a party to the Share Purchase Agreement and the entire transfer happened with his knowledge.
However, after nine (9) months, Mr. Ravi Prakash has now chosen to make these allegations only with the hope that it will provide him with a defence in the ongoing investigations into the criminal acts committed by him.
We understand that certain allegations have also been made with respect to the proposed settlement with SAIF III Mauritius Company Limited (“SAIF”).
Even these allegations are without any basis. As on the date of the acquisition, there was a dispute pending in the National Company Law Tribunal, Hyderabad (“NCLT”) for shares held by SAIF in IVision Media India Private Limited (“IVision”). This dispute was duly settled pursuant to a Settlement Agreement.
The settlement consideration was transferred by way of regular banking channels and in accordance with the RBI regulations. After the remittance, NCLT permitted the SAIF to withdraw its case.
We request one and all not to be influenced by his allegations and dismiss them with a contempt that they deserve. We will be taking legal steps for false and defamatory allegations made by Mr. Ravi Prakash.”