New Delhi, May 13
Billionaire Gautam Adani’s group will raise Rs 21,000 crore (over USD 2.5 billion) through share sale in two group companies in the boldest comeback strategy after the ports-to-energy conglomerate was rocked by allegations of fraud levelled by a US short-seller.
Adani Enterprises Ltd, the group’s flagship firm, plans to raise Rs 12,500 crore, while electricity transmission company Adani Transmission another Rs 8,500 crore, the companies said in stock exchange filings.
The board of renewable energy arm, Adani Green Energy Ltd too was scheduled to meet on Saturday for a fundraise but the meeting was postponed to May 24.
The fundraise will be through issue of shares to qualified institutional buyers. Sources aware of the matter said investors in Europe and the Middle East have evinced strong interest.
In a stock exchange filing, Adani Enterprises said its board on Saturday approved “raising of funds by way of issuance of…equity shares having face value of Rs 1 each of the company and / or other eligible securities or any combination thereof, for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 12,500 crore or an equivalent amount thereof by way of qualified institutional placement (QIP) or other permissible mode in accordance with the applicable laws.”
Adani Transmission in a separate filing said its board has approved “raising of funds by way of issuance of such number of equity shares having face value of Rs 10 each of the company and / or other eligible securities or any combination thereof, for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 8,500 crore or an equivalent amount thereof by way of QIP or other permissible mode in accordance with the applicable laws.”
This comes three months after Adani Enterprises was forced to abort a Rs 20,000 crore follow-on public offering (FPO) in the wake of the Hindenburg report.
The offer was fully subscribed but the company returned the money to subscribers. The sources said the company stock which was offered in the price range of Rs 3,112 to Rs 3,276 in the FPO is now available at Rs 1,964 (at Friday’s closing price).
US short-seller Hindenburg Research in January released a damning report alleging accounting fraud and stock price manipulation at Adani Group, triggering a stock market rout that had erased about USD 145 billion in the conglomerate’s market value at its lowest point.
Adani Group has denied all allegations by Hindenburg and is plotting a comeback strategy. The group has recast its ambitions as well as prepaid some loans to assuage investors.
Promoters in March sold stakes worth Rs 15,446 crore in four group companies to leading US-based global equity investment boutique GQG Partners.
The group has been trying to win back market confidence with a series of investor roadshows, early debt repayments, and plans to scale back its pace of spending on new projects.
The funds that Adani Group is looking to raise will be the conglomerate’s biggest borrowing since the January 24 Hindenburg report. The money raised is intended to be used for funding the group’s expansion projects.