The Adani Group plans to take legal action against Hindenburg Research after the U.S.-based short seller released a 106-page report, accusing the Gautam Adani-led conglomerate of "pulling the largest con in corporate history."
"The maliciously mischievous, unresearched report published by Hindenburg Research on January 24, 2023, has adversely affected the Adani Group, our shareholders and investors. The volatility in Indian stock markets created by the report is of great concern and has led to unwanted anguish for Indian citizens," Jatin Jalundhwala, legal head, Adani Group, says in a statement.
"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," the ports-to-power conglomerate says.
"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 follow-on public offering (FPO) from Adani Enterprises," Jalundhwala says, adding that the company is evaluating the relevant provisions under U.S. and Indian laws for remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Group.
Responding to the Adani Group, Hindenburg Research said that the company hasn't addressed a single substantive issue raised in the 32,000-word report. "At the conclusion of our report, we asked 88 straightforward questions that we believe give the company a chance to be transparent. Thus far, Adani has answered none of these questions," the short seller says in a statement.
"Instead, as expected, Adani has resorted to bluster and threats," it adds.
On the threat of legal action, Hindenburg Research said it welcomes it. "We fully stand by our report and believe any legal action taken against us would be meritless. If Adani is serious, it should also file suit in the U.S. where we operate. We have a long list of documents we would demand in a legal discovery process."
Earlier this week, the Adani Group had called the short seller's report as a "malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India's highest courts."
"The timing of the report's publication 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 by a private sector company in India," said Adani Group chief financial officer Jugeshinder Singh.
Ahead of the ₹20,000 crore follow-on public offer (FPO), Adani Enterprises, the flagship company of the Adani Group, raised ₹5,984.9 crore from 33 anchor investors on Wednesday.
Indian banks have an exposure of ₹81,200 crore to Adani Group, whose group debt is ₹2 lakh crore (about $24 billion), according to foreign brokerage house CLSA.