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Adani Group Pledges More Shares of Ports Unit on Stock Rout

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January 31, 2023

By P R Sanjai (Bloomberg) —

The Adani Group pledged more shares of its ports arm to lenders, reflecting the growing spotlight on the conglomerate’s liquidity amid a short seller attack that has wiped out $69 billion from the market value of Gautam Adani’s empire.

Flourishing Trade and Investments Ltd. encumbered 2.69% more equity of Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. to Catalyst Trusteeship Ltd., according to an exchange filing Tuesday. Catalyst, which is acting as a security trustee on behalf of lenders, now holds 7.79% shares of the port operator under pledge, it said.

Adani Ports, India’s largest private-sector port operator with a 30% market share, has fallen over 19% in the past few trading sessions since US-based Hindenburg Research’s scathing report last week. The short seller accused the Adani conglomerate of “brazen” stock manipulation and accounting fraud — allegations that the group rebutted in a 413-page response but couldn’t stem the stock rout.

The additional pledge comes at a time when the tycoon’s flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd. concluded a follow-on share sale. It has attempted to boost investor confidence despite Hindenburg’s allegations that include Adani Group operating a web of companies in tax havens.

Billionaire Adani, who started as a diamond trader in Mumbai in the 1980s, now helms a conglomerate spanning ports, airports, coals mines, power plants and has more recently diversified into in renewables, cement, realty and media.

(updates with latest number in second paragraph.)

–With assistance from Anirban Nag.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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