Who owns Tehelka? To answer this question, one has to figure out who owns Anant Media Private Limited, the company that publishes Tehelka, of which Tarun Tejpal is editor-in-chief.
Police personnel outside Tehelka's office as ABVP activists protest against Tarun Tejpal in New Delhi. (PTI photo)
A closer look at the balance sheet and shareholding pattern of Anant Media Pvt Ltd throws more questions than it answers. Reason? Little known individuals and companies own a majority stake in the company that claims to be the harbinger of truth and transparency.
Tejpal and his family own about 22% in the privately-held company, but eight other companies hold significant stakes in Anant Media.The majority shareholder in Anant Media is Royal Building & Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, which owns a 65.75% stake as on September 29, 2012.
Another company, KDS Corporation, holds an 85% stake in Royal Building & Infrastructure. KDS Corporation reportedly belongs to Trinamool Congress (TMC) member of Parliament KD Singh and his family. And Singh is an old associate of Tejpal.
Singh did not respond to repeated calls and an email from HT to comment on the issue. However, TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien had recently tweeted: “KD Singh just clarified to me that I am not the owner of Tehelka. I have nothing to do with the publication.”
It remains unclear as to when and to whom Singh sold his stake in Tehelka.
Tejpal, who personally owned 39.34% — and through his family held about 45% stake in Anant Media till September 29, 2011 – brought his personal stake down to 19.25% and his family’s holding to 21.81% of September, 2012.
Royal Building & Infrastructure, which lists Siddharth Kumar and Satish Mehta as directors, held a 30% stake in 2011. This rose to 65.75% by September 2012, according to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies, Delhi.