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Jul 19, 2023

Adani Group rejects ‘malicious’ accusations of foul play at AGM

Company switches focus to ESG as it builds world’s largest hybrid renewables park

Adani Group has rebuffed ‘malicious’ reports accusing the company of stock manipulation and accounting fraud at its AGM on Tuesday.

During the virtual AGM, Gautam Adani, the billionaire chairman of the multinational conglomerate, said the Hindenburg report, which was published in January, was a combination of targeted misinformation and discredited allegations.

The short-seller report accused Adani Group of engaging in stock manipulation and ‘flagrant fraud’ stating that the $36 bn company’s ‘obvious accounting irregularities and sketchy dealings seem to be enabled by virtually non-existent financial controls. Evidence of stock manipulation in Adani listed companies shouldn’t come as a surprise.’

IPO damage

The report was released ahead of Adani Group’s planned IPO on the National Stock Exchange of India, which would have been the largest in India’s history. Due to the negative outcome of the report and market turmoil, however, the company called off its $2.4 bn offering, saying that once the market stabilizes, it will review its strategy on whether to try to list.

Adani Group rejects malicious accusations of foul play at AGM
Gautam Adani, Adani Group, addressing shareholders at virtual AGM

In the original media statement responding to the report, Adani Group said the ‘maliciously mischievous’ unresearched report had adversely affected the group, shareholders and investors.

‘The volatility in Indian stock markets created by the report is of great concern and has led to unwanted anguish for Indian citizens,’ it stated.

‘We are deeply disturbed by this intentional and reckless attempt by a foreign entity to mislead the investor community and the general public, undermine the goodwill and reputation of the Adani Group and its leaders, and sabotage the [follow-on public offering) from Adani Enterprises.’

‘The most impactful conglomerate’

Addressing shareholders this week, chairman Adani shared some of the ambitious plans the company is looking to evoke. These include becoming, by 2030, the most profitable port company in the world with its logistics business.

Adani also said the group is currently building what is set to be the largest hybrid renewables park in the world in the middle of Khavda in the Indian state of Gujarat. The park will span more than 72,000 acres and be capable of generating 20 gigawatts of green energy.

‘We could have chosen to settle for average growth numbers, or we could get up every day believing we are on the cusp of being one of the most impactful conglomerates our nation has built,’ Adani explained.

Hindenburg Research has been contacted for comment.