By P R Sanjai and Eltaf Najafizada
The Adani Group will release a detailed response to allegations made by US short seller Hindenburg Research only after the completion of a new share sale that’s set to conclude on Jan 31, according to people familiar with the matter.
The conglomerate owned by Asia’s richest person Gautam Adani had said it would give a detailed rebuttal on Friday, according to bondholders who participated in a conference call with Adani executives. While it had answered some questions, the longer reply did not materialize as expected.
The group has prepared a response of more than 100 pages and and is also seeking legal advice on when to release it, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. While it won’t be before Jan. 31, the people did not specify when the reply would come.
A representative for the conglomerate declined to comment.
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Hindenburg released its report just days before the billionaire’s flagship firm Adani Enterprises Ltd launched India’s biggest ever primary follow-on public offering that’s seeking to raise Rs 20,000 crore ($2.5 billion). It was meant to fund capital expenditures and to pay down the debt of its various units.
Hindenburg alleged that its two-year investigation found the Adani Group “engaged in a brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades” and called out the conglomerate’s “substantial debt.” The firm said it’s shorting Adani Group through US traded bonds and non-Indian-traded derivatives, and that its report “relates solely to the valuation of securities traded outside of India.”
The group lost more than $50 billion in market value in two sessions, costing Adani himself in excess of $20 billion, or about one-fifth of his total fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Adani Group said Thursday that it was exploring legal action against the research firm, calling Hindenburg’s report “maliciously mischievous,” “bogus” and “unresearched.”