Chennai: Kalanithi Maran and his wife Kaveri Kalanithi, promoters of Sun TV Network Ltd, have no plans to exit south India’s biggest media group, its chief financial officer (CFO) said on Friday.

The comments came amid market speculation that the promoters were looking to sell their stakes to two private equity firms under pressure from the government to exit the business, analysts said.

“Promoters will not cash out or exit Sun TV," S.L Narayanan said on the sidelines of the company’s 30th annual general meeting in Chennai.

Analysts tracking Sun TV Network said they saw few chances of an exit by the Marans.

“I don’t see Maran selling out as it is his baby and he is not in need of cash to run the business," said an analyst who has been tracking the company for six years. The analyst did not want to be named.

Friday’s annual general meeting also saw a shareholder raising concerns about the huge disparity in pay between executive chairman Kalanithi Maran and independent directors.

Maran and his wife were the highest paid corporate executives in India for the third year in a row, and took home a salary of 122 crore ( 61 crore each) in the year ended 31 March. The company’s independent directors get a fee of up to 26,000.

Maran did not talk at Friday’s meeting. Narayanan addressed all shareholder queries.

Maran and his brother, former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, are currently fighting cases of money laundering. Sun Group is also fighting another legal battle after the government denied it a security clearance in June.

Sun TV shareholders raised concerns about the legal hurdles faced by the company, but management said it was optimistic about its prospects of overcoming them.

“We have been through difficult times and will come out completely unscathed," Narayanan said. “I am confident, at the end, truth will prevail and we will come out (with) flying colours."

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