The Adani Group on Sunday launched a counter to the allegations made by short-seller Hindenburg Research terming the report as a false narrative written with a malafide intent without understanding Indian laws.
In a 413-page response to the report released by Hindenburg Research last week, the Adani group said, “The document is a malicious combination of selective misinformation and concealed facts relating to baseless and discredited allegations to drive an ulterior motive. This is rife with conflict of interest and intended only to create a false market in securities to enable Hindenburg, an admitted short seller, to book massive financial gain through wrongful means at the cost of countless investors.”
Adani group said the report was selective and manipulative presentation of matters already in the public domain to create a false narrative; complete ignorance or deliberate disregard of the applicable legal and accounting standards as well as industry practice; and contempt for the Indian institutions including the regulators and the judiciary. “The report seeks answers to “88 questions” – 65 of these relate to matters that have been dulydisclosed by Adani Portfolio companies in their annual reports available on their websites, offering memorandums, financial statements and stock exchange disclosures from time to time. Of the balance 23 questions, 18 relate to public shareholders and third parties (and not the Adani portfolio companies), while the balance 5 are baseless allegations based on imaginary fact patterns,” Adani group said.
Responding to specific allegations against Gautam Adani’s younger brother Rajesh Adani, allegations of fraud by the DRI, the role played by Vinod Adani and entities and, Gautam Adani’s brother-in-law Samir Vora, Adani group said, “Each of the above matters are closed and dismissed in our favour. Further, these have beendisclosed by us in the public domain and all our stakeholders are aware of the same. These have been cited solely in an attempt to further the narrative of lies.”
On the allegations that SEBI has investigated and prosecuted more than 70 entities and individuals, including Adani promoters, for manipulating Adani stock between 1999 to 2005, Adani group said, “There are no ongoing proceedings against the Adani promoters before SEBI in relation to this issue and all past cases before SEBI have been closed. These have also been duly disclosed by us and our stakeholders are already aware of the same.”
Responding to claims that SEBI ruling determined that Adani promoters aided and abetted Ketan Parekh in the manipulation of shares of Adani Exports, the company said, “The allegation in relation to Ketan Parekh working with Adani companies are incorrect.”
The Hindenburg report had stated that Adani’s 7 key listed entities collectively have 578 subsidiaries and have engaged in a total of 6,025 separate related-party transactions in fiscal year 2022 alone. Adani group responded by saying that “This allegation again emanates from a complete lack of understanding by Hindenburg of the business structures and requirements of infrastructure companies. For infrastructure business in India and many other jurisdictions, companies typically have to operate with a ring fenced project finance structure wherein each project is housed in a separate company and financing is raisedagainst the specific project assets.”
Another point raised by the US short-seller firm was that Adani Enterprises has had 5 chief financial officers over the course of 8 years, a key red flag suggesting potential accounting irregularities. “Here again Hindenburg has tried to color the facts to suit their narrative and have completely misrepresented the truth in respect of our CFOs. The truth is that several of the CFOs that Hindenburg claims have left, are in fact still part of the organization in various other capacities, including taking on larger or key roles as part of our growth stories,” Adani said.
On allegations of Mauritius-based entities like APMS Investment Fund, Cresta Fund, LTS Investment Fund, Elara India Opportunities Fund, and Opal Investments collectively holding shares in Adani-listed companies, totaling almost $8 billion, could be linked to the promoter group, Adani group said, “Each of the entities referenced in queries above are public shareholders in the listed companies in the Adani Portfolio. Innuendoes that they are in any manner related parties of the promoters are Incorrect.”