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Hindenburg's research report on Adani group

“Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud”


Adani Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate, is headquartered in Ahmedabad. In 1988, Gautam Adani founded the company, as a commodity trading business. Its flagship company is Adani Enterprises. It is a holding company, which is primarily engaged in mining and trading of coal and iron ore on a standalone basis, and acts as an incubator for Adani Group's new business ventures.

Founded in 2017 by Nathan Anderson, Hindenburg Research is a forensic research firm which has a track record of finding corporate wrongdoings and placing bets against the companies.


"Key listed Adani companies have also taken on substantial debt, including pledging shares of their inflated stock for loans, putting the entire group on precarious financial footing. 5 of 7 key listed companies have reported ‘current ratios’ below 1, indicating near-term liquidity pressure," the Hindenburg report said.


Hindenburg on January 24,2023 disclosed that it holds short positions in Adani companies through U.S traded bonds and non-Indian traded derivatives and released a report alongside the disclosure alleging improper use of tax havens and flagging concerns about debt levels. Adani group is engaged in several sectors like logistics, agribusiness, ports, energy, defense and real estate. The company is a major player in the Indian business world, with revenues of over $11 billion in the fiscal year 2021.The Hindenburg report alleges that Adani Group has used aggressive and unconventional accounting practices to inflate its profits and understate its debt. It was claimed by the report that the company has booked large amounts of revenue from subsidiaries and joint ventures. These provided a misleading picture of the company’s health and profitability. This is because these are not consolidated in its financial statements.

From the results of multiple investigations, it can be sited that some of the early building blocks of the Adani business empire were the Import- export scams- involving diamonds, iron ore, coal and power equipment.


The report says that Adani Group faces liquidity risks due to high short-term liabilities with five of the key listed companies having reported current ratios below 1 indicating near term liquidity pressure. Adani responded by saying leverage ratios of his companies continue to be healthy and are in line with the industry benchmarks of the respective sectors ,further adding that this information is publicly disclosed regularly.

"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," he added.


It is believed by Hindenburg, that many of the associates of Gautam Adani have had past run-ins with the law, and still serve on board. It is alleged that several entities connected to Gautam Adani's brother Vinod Adani have dealt with Adani companies without disclosing the true nature of these transactions. AdiCorp Enterprises- an entity owned by a friend of the Adani's, flags a particular transaction between Adani group companies.


Hindenburg argues that money was moved into listed companies by Adani Group and moved them out conveniently. This eroded shareholder's wealth. It also believed that the structure of Adani's convoluted corporation is a deliberate design feature which hides many of its shady dealings. The research pointed out that nearly $8 billion were invested by funds based in Mauritius in the Adani group companies. It also draws attention to Adani’s harsh response to people critical of Adani’s operations.


DO YOU KNOW

⦁Adani Group is a multinational conglomerate with interests in ports, logistics, agribusiness, energy, real estate, and defense.

⦁8 of 22 key roles are held by the family members of Gautam Adani, Founder and Chairman of the Adani Group.







BY-

Tanvi Goyal

Manya Gupta

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