Adani group issues clarification of inaccurate media reporting
Adani family deployed its returns from the secondary sale to make additional purchases of AGEL equity and to provide support to AGEL via a shareholder loan and other securities – all also in the public domain
Ahmedabad : Adani Group today shared a letter sent to the Financial Times following its publication of an article that contained fundamental misunderstandings of prior Adani Group disclosures, and resultant inaccuracies in the story.
The full text of the Letter to the Editor follows:
To the Editor:
Your article of 22 March 2023 “Indian Data Reveals Adani empire’s reliance on offshore funding” is, on the face of it, a mendacious, deliberate effort to attempt to paint the Adani family and the Adani Group in the worst possible light. In doing so, it reveals a willingness to be selective in using publicly available facts, lazy in its approach to understanding disclosures to which your reporters were directed, and makes insinuations that are false and damaging.
Our statement to your reporter, that all the transactions about which the Financial Times inquired have been publicly disclosed, is accurate, and the story amply demonstrates that your reporters conveniently chose not to look in a meaningful way at those public disclosures or even at the related press releases (including ones that the Financial Times covered at the time).
If your reporters had fully taken into account all of those filings and other disclosures, they would have been simply unable to include – with any honesty – their subjective epithets about “hard-to-scrutinise money flows”, “opaque overseas investments” and “funds of unclear provenance.”
In fact, as publicly disclosed on 18 Jan 2021 and 23 Jan 2021, the Adani Group’s promoters raised USD 2 Bn through the sale of a 20% stake in Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) to TotalEnergies of France (then Total Renewables SAS), a fact the Financial Times contemporaneously reported but chose to ignore completely in the 22 March 2023 story.
Further, in Oct 2019, the promoters had raised USD ~700 Mn through the sale of a 37.4% stake in Adani Total Gas Ltd, a fact published in an Adani press release. Again, the Financial Times chose to ignore this fact in its report, although it did publish the news at that time.
These funds were reinvested by promoter entities to support the growth of new business and in portfolio companies such as Adani Enterprises Ltd, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd, Adani Transmission Ltd and Adani Power Ltd. The promoter entities have had substantial holdings in Adani companies, which have increased over time. It is through the timely use of funds received through the sale of equity that these entities have been able to increase their investments.
Of note, the Adani family deployed its returns from the secondary sale to make additional purchases of AGEL equity and to provide support to AGEL via a shareholder loan and other securities – all also in the public domain.
Your story incorrectly mixed primary and secondary investments, and also ignored entirely a secondary transaction of USD 2 Billion – all so that the reporters could conveniently create an illusion of a USD 2 billion “gap in funding” to support their pre-conceived thesis of supposed round-tripping. That all falls away once the AGEL equity proceeds are taken into account.
Further, the article has no qualms about contradicting itself in order to create innuendoes. For example, the story claims:
“Most offshore shell companies supplying FDI to the conglomerate have been disclosed as part of Adani’s “promoter group”, meaning they are closely tied to Adani or his immediate family.”
Yet soon after, the story reports:
“Analysts said the money moving from obscure Mauritius entities was concerning because it was impossible to ascertain whether or not the funds had been “round-tripped”
If the Financial Times agrees in the first paragraph above that the companies are part of the promoter group, then definitionally, how can they be validly described as obscure entities?
The facts are easily available and transparent. They are available through relevant securities regulatory filings that were made at the time and are a matter of public record.
We understand the competitive race to tear down Adani can be alluring. But we are fully compliant with securities laws and are not obscuring promoter ownership and financing. Through the creation of a misleading narrative, your story has created reputational impact on Adani Group companies. We ask you to take down the story immediately from your website. Further, because this story has driven misunderstanding in the market and with other media, and has become a political issue, we are compelled to share this information publicly at this time. That is regrettable, but could have been avoided by your reporters taking a careful and objective approach.