“A calculated attack on India”: Adani Group issues rebuttal to Hindenburg report

| Updated: 30 January, 2023 9:39 am IST
Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani (file photo)

The Adani Group on Sunday issued a point-by-point rebuttal to the 88 questions raised by New York-based Hindenburg Research in a report last week while calling the firm’s actions as  a “calculated attack on India”, its institutions and the India “growth story”.

“This is not merely an unwarranted attack on any specific company but a calculated attack on India, the independence, integrity and quality of Indian institutions, and the growth story and ambition of India,” the Adani group said in its response.

Questioning the credentials of the firm Adani in its response said, “It is tremendously concerning that the statements of an entity sitting thousands of miles away, with no credibility or ethics has caused serious and unprecedented adverse impact on our investors,” the Adani Group said.

Since the release of the report, chairman and founder Gautam Adani had lost nearly 19 per cent of his net wealth to settle at the seventh position on the list of the world’s richest individuals amid massive offloading of Adani Group shares on Friday.

According to Forbes’ real-time billionaires index, the Adani Group founder and chairman lost more than USD 22.5 billion as investors continued panic selling of his companies in wake of allegations of “stock manipulation” and “accounting fraud”.

The net asset of Adani – who once held the prestige of becoming the world’s second-richest person – is now pegged at USD 96.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Hindenburg released the report two days head days ahead of the FPO by its flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd. Questioning the timing, the group said, “The mala fide intention underlying the report is apparent given its timing when Adani Enterprises Limited is undertaking what would be the largest ever further public offering of equity shares in India.”

“Of the 88 questions posed by Hindenburg, it is pertinent to note that 68 refers to the matters that have already been duly disclosed by Adani Group companies in their respective annual reports, offering memorandums, financial statements and stock exchange disclosures from time to time. Sixteen out of 20 questions are pertaining to public shareholders and their sources of funds, while the balance four are simply baseless allegations. Needless to say that Hindenburg has created these questions to divert the attention of its target audience while managing its short trades to benefit at the cost of investors,” the report said.

The report, the Adani Group said, is a “malicious combination of selective misinformation and concealed facts relating to baseless and discredited allegations to drive an ulterior motive”.

“The report 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,” the Group further said.

Saying Hindenburg has “not published the report for any altruistic reasons but purely out of selfish motives and in flagrant breach of applicable securities and foreign exchange laws”, the Group said, “The truth of the matter is that Hindenburg is an unethical short seller. A short seller in the securities market books gain from the subsequent reduction in prices of shares.”

Saying the Adani Group “is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations”, the response said, “The Adani Portfolio also has very strong internal controls and audit controls. All the listed companies of Adani Portfolio have a robust governance framework.”

On its part Hindenburg responded with another release saying, “Fraud cannot be obfuscated by nationalism or a bloated response that ignores every key allegation we raised.”

“It also predictably tried to lead the focus away from substantive issues and instead stoked a nationalist narrative, claiming our report amounted to a “calculated attack on India.” In short, the Adani Group has attempted to conflate its meteoric rise and the wealth of its Chairman, Gautam Adani, with the success of India itself,” read the response.

Highlighting that Hindenburg report alleged that Adani Group has engaged in billions of U.S. Dollars in suspicious dealings with its Chairman’s Brother, Vinod Adani, and his labyrinth of offshore shell entities.  “These dealings raised serious questions about stock and accounting manipulation Adani’s Defense: Vinod Adani, Brother To The Chairman, Is Not A Related Party To The Group And There Are No Disclosable Conflicts Relating To This Web Of Opaque Transactions


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