NDTV stock up 76% in four days, company says no clue why

Shares of New Delhi Television Ltd spiked another 10% today to Rs 62.40, prompting the BSE to write to the company to seek clarification on any undisclosed development.

With this, the total gain in NDTV shares in the last four days is 76%.

The company, however, said it was not aware of any development that could explain such a spike in its shares.

“We wish to inform you that the company is neither aware of the reason for the present sudden spurt in the share price of the company nor is aware of any information which in its opinion may have a bearing on the price or volume behavior of the scrip,” the media company told the BSE today.

Separately, the company also reiterated today that there has been no change in its ownership structure.

“The promoters of NDTV, Dr Prannoy Roy, Mrs Radhika Roy and RRPR Holding Private Ltd continue to hold the majority shareholding of NDTV which amounts to 61.45% of the total shareholding of NDTV. There has been no change in the above shareholding since August 2008,” it said.

The strong rise in the company’s price could indicate many things, including the possibility that someone is loading up on its shares in anticipation of a future development.

The company, one of the most prominent news broadcasters in India, has been facing litigation with the Income Tax Department. Tax authorities claim that the company has been involved in money laundering and tax evasion.

In July, the Delhi Bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upheld the Tax Department’s decision to bring the ₹642 crore raised by its Dutch subsidiary eight years ago under the tax net.

The tribunal endorsed the move to add ₹642 crore to the income of NDTV by treating it as “unexplained money” under Section 69A of the income-tax law.

“We are of the opinion that the Assessing Officer has correctly made the addition of ₹642.54 crore by invoking Section 69A of the Act on account of money transferred by M/S Universal Studio International BV, which was routed to the coffers of the assessee (NDTV) by entering into a series of mergers and liquidation by payment of dividends, loans without any obligation for repayment,” said the order.

It also held that the structuring of the event was used as a device for the distribution or diversion of the sum to the Indian entity and that the beneficial owner of the money is the assessee (NDTV).

NDTV argued that since the money was received in the subsidiary, it cannot be taxed in the hands of the company.