Tamil Nadu: Blow for Karunanidhi family’s business interests?

Tamil Nadu: Blow for Karunanidhi family’s business interests?

Thursday’s state election results are likely to make the fortunes for some businesses and mar for some others. The biggest and most prominent loser of the day was from the family of DMK chief M Karunanidhi. On the day of the results, the Sun TV stock lost Rs 2,229 crore in market value. Its market capitalisation fell from Rs 16,845 crore at its close on Thursday to Rs 14,616 crore at the end of the day. By virtue of his 75 per cent holding, DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s grandnephew Kalanithi Maran would take three-fourths of that hit.

This notional loss could be an indicator of the bad news in store for the family’s business interests that extend beyond media. While Maran was among the first in the family to get into organised business through his venture into broadcast media in the early 1990s, there were others who have followed in his footsteps. After a brief break-up in relations with the Marans, Karunanidhi’s immediate family members floated Kalaignar TV in 2007. At the time Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal owned 60 per cent, while his daughter Kanimozhi owned 20 per cent. Karunanidhi’s grandsons, from his sons Stalin and Azhagiri have also built interests in a range of businesses from real estate to movies to granite mining.

The management of Sun TV has often maintained that its business is independent of the government in power, but the market seems to be understanding it differently. A second term of the AIADMK could prove to be tougher for the family as it does not have the cushion of a friendly regime at the Centre. Read more.


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