By: Melvin Samuel
Adani Group on Thursday said it is mulling legal options in the US and India against Hindenburg Research after its report accused firms owned by Gautam Adani of “brazen” market manipulation and accounting fraud.
Jatin Jalundhwala, Group Head – Legal, Adani Group, said, “The maliciously mischievous, unresearched report published by Hindenburg Research on 24 January 2023 has adversely affected the Adani Group, our shareholders and investors.” The legal head said, “We (the Group) are evaluating the relevant provisions under US and Indian laws for remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research.”
“The volatility in Indian stock markets created by the report is of great concern and has led to unwanted anguish for Indian citizens,” the legal head said in a statement on Thursday.
Hindenburg, a US investment research firm published a report claiming that the Adani group had links with a labyrinth of offshore tax havens linked to Gautam Adani’s family and the firm’s exposure to high debt was a concern. The report also claimed that Adani group’s stock price was inflated and had significant downside risks.
On the report affecting Adani shares, Jatin Jalundhwala said, “Clearly, the report and its unsubstantiated contents were designed to have a deleterious effect on the share values of Adani Group companies as Hindenburg Research, by their own admission, is positioned to benefit from a slide in Adani shares.”
Jalundhwala also mentioned Hindenburg which said that it had taken “short positions in Adani Group Companies through US-traded bonds and non-Indian-traded derivatives, along with other non-Indian-traded reference securities.”
The Adani group’s legal head said, “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 FPO (Follow-on Public Offering) from Adani Enterprises.”
Jugeshinder Singh, the chief financial officer (CFO) of the Adani Group, on Wednesday said the conglomerate was “shocked” by the Hindenburg Research’s report and termed it a “malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India’s highest courts”.
Reportedly, the research firm, in its report on Tuesday, raised concerns about shares of Adani group companies having a possibility of declining from their current levels, owing to high valuations.
“We are shocked that Hindenburg Research published a report on January 24, 2023, without making any attempt to contact us or verify the factual matrix. The report is a malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India’s highest courts,” the CFO said in a statement.
The timing of the report by Hindenburg Research, the CFO, in his statement, said “clearly betrays a brazen, mala fide intention to undermine” the Adani Group’s reputation with the “principal objective of damaging” the upcoming Follow-on Public Offering from Adani Enterprises, the biggest FPO ever in India.