Kalanithi Maran's wealth down Rs1,000 crore on CBI probe talks

Media mogul Kalanithi Maran's wealth suffered a loss of Rs1,000 crore on paper yesterday on news that the Central Bureau of Investigation was poised to file charges against him and his brother, triggering a sharp drop in the share prices of two companies owned by him, Sun TV and SpiceJet.

According to a report in the Times of India, the CBI was ready to file charges against Maran and his brother, former telecom minister Dayanidhi, over allegations that they received kickbacks when Malaysia's Maxis took a stake in Aircel.

Shares of major media network in South India, Sun TV, plummeted 40 per cent in early trade before recovering some of the lost ground to close at Rs261.65, still 11 per cent down. SpiceJet shares closed at Rs25.20, down 10.6 per cent.

Maran owns 77 per cent of Sun TV and over 43 per cent of SpiceJet.

According to analysts, political concerns regarding the Aircel-Maxis deal probe remained an overhang on the stock. They added the stock would likely remain volatile in the near term even if Sun TV results mey street expectations.

The Maran brothers are under CBI investigation over allegations that Aircel's former owner C Sivasankaran was forced into selling his company to Maxis founder T Anandakrishnan, who in turn invested in Kalanithi Maran's Sun DTH. The Times of India reported that the CBI would charge them having received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 550 crore.