‘Objective to destabilise us, politically defame India’s governance practices’: Gautam Adani on Hindenburg report

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More than a year after US-based investment research firm Hindenburg published a report on the Adani Group stocks, Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani on Wednesday said that the report was an attempt to destabilise the Adani Group and also defame the current administration in India. 

Chairman Gautam Adani said: “… Last year, January 24, we were subject to a massive attack by a US short seller. The objective was just not to destabilize us, but also to politically defame India’s governance practices. Despite the efforts to shake our foundation, we stood firm, not just safeguarding our reputation but also ensuring we remained focused on our operations…”

On January 24, 2023, Hindenburg Research published its report against the Adani group companies alleging that the conglomerate was involved in fraudulent transactions, accounting frauds, and stock market manipulation. The report led to a massive stock rout in Adani group companies, where the companies lost $111 billion worth of investor wealth. 

Adani was listed as the world’s second richest at the start of 2023 but slipped out of the top 20 after the report was released.

Last year, in a message to shareholders, Adani said: “On the eve of our Republic Day, a US-based short seller published a report just as we were planning to launch the largest Follow-on Public Offering (FPO) in India’s history. The report was a combination of targeted misinformation and outdated, discredited allegations aimed at damaging our reputation and generating profits through a deliberate drive-down of our stock prices.”

Since the publication of the Hindenburg Research report, several investigations, including by the OCCRP and Financial Times, highlighted alleged malpractices by the Adani group, particularly in its use of offshore havens.

In March 2023, the Supreme Court constituted the committee headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice A. M. Sapre, to look into whether a regulatory failure had led to investors losing money after the short seller Hindenburg Research’s report pointed to fraud and manipulation by the Adani Group.

On January 3, 2024, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, dismissed requests for creating a special investigation team (SIT) or transferring the probe into the allegations levelled by Hindenburg against the Adani Group to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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