India's Adani makes foray into media business with Quintillion stake

FILE PHOTO: Indian billionaire Gautam Adani speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad in this April 2, 2014 . REUTERS/Amit Dave

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Adani Group is taking a minority stake in local digital business news platform Quintillion, the companies said in statement on Tuesday, marking billionaire Gautam Adani's first bet in the news industry.

The relationship between Adani Media Ventures and Quintillion "marks a strong beginning of Adani Group’s foray into Indian media," the statement said, without quantifying the stake Adani was taking.

The news was first reported in September last year when the company appointed veteran Indian journalist Sanjay Pugalia to lead its media company Adani Media Ventures.

Pugalia previously was president of Quint Digital Media, the parent company of Quintillion.

The proposed deal excludes other popular Indian digital media properties affiliated with the Quint such as The News Minute and Youth Ki Awaaz, the companies said.

Bloomberg Media in a separate statement said it was ending its equity joint venture with Quintillion in India, which together ran the business news website BloombergQuint.

It was not immediately clear whether Adani picked up Bloomberg's stake.

Gautam Adani is one of Asia's richest alongside Mukesh Ambani, chairman of oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries, which also has interest in India's vibrant media industry.

With Tuesday's move, Adani is set to face off with Reliance which owns India's Network18 that runs several business TV news channels and online platforms.

Adani Group has a market capitalization of over $150 billion, comprising seven publicly listed companies which are in the businesses of operating airports and ports, power generation and transmission, coal and gas trading.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in New Delhi; Editing by Aditya Kalra and Bernadette Baum)

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