Adani Group Calls FT Report 'Mendacious', Cites Rs 20,000-Crore Stake Sales

The story has created a reputational impact for the group companies and has become a political issue, says the Adani letter.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>(Source: Reuters)</p></div>
(Source: Reuters)

The Adani Group has termed the March 22 Financial Times report on the conglomerate's offshore funding as "inaccurate", "mendacious" and "making insinuations that are false and damaging".

In a strongly worded letter to the FT editor on April 10, shared with the exchanges, the Adani Group said the report did not take into account Rs 20,000 crore that the group had raised through stake sales in its businesses. As a result, the FT article has created a "misleading narrative, misunderstanding in the markets, created reputational impact on the Adani Group companies and has become a political issue".

This is the first time the Adani Group has alleged that misreporting of facts by the media has become a political issue. The strong rebuttal comes when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been seeking disclosure on Rs 20,000 crore that came into the conglomerate allegedly through "shell companies".

The group asked the FT to immediately take the story down from its website.

The FT report "incorrectly mixed" primary and secondary investments in group companies. The group said the FT "ignored entirely" stake sale transactions amounting to over Rs 21,000 crore in Adani Total Gas Ltd. and Adani Green Energy Ltd.

The secondary transactions of $2 billion were ignored so that the FT reporters could "conveniently create an illusion of a $2 billion gap in funding” to support their pre-conceived thesis of "supposed round-tripping". That all falls away once the Adani Green Energy's equity proceeds are taken into account, it said.

Adani said promoters in January 2021 raised $2 billion by selling 20% stake in the renewable energy firm to TotalEnergies. Prior to that in 2019, the promoters had sold a 37.4% stake in its city gas arm Adani Total Gas Ltd. to the same French firm for $783 million. In total, the promoters raised over Rs 21,000 crore, of which Rs 20,000 crore were ploughed back into group companies, it said.

Adani said these transactions were disclosed to stock exchanges and were also reported by the Financial Times, something that the publication "chose to ignore completely in the 22 March 2023 story".

The proceeds were used by the Adani promoter entities to support the growth of new businesses and in portfolio companies through equity purchases that raised its stake and through shareholder loans. The group said it reinvested the funds in Adani Enterprises Ltd., Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd., Adani Transmission Ltd., Adani Power Ltd. and made additional purchases in Adani Green Energy.

The group said the promoter entities have had substantial holdings in the Adani Group companies, which have increased over time. It is through the timely use of funds received by selling equity that these entities have been able to increase their investments, the letter said.

The FT story reveals a "willingness to be selective in using publicly available facts, lazy in its approach to understanding disclosures to which the publications reporters were directed, and makes insinuations that are false and damaging", the infrastructure conglomerate alleged.

All Adani group shares ended higher on April 10.

Adani Group Asks Financial Times To Take Down 'Inaccurate', 'Mendacious' Report
Adani Group Calls FT Report 'Mendacious', Cites Rs 20,000-Crore Stake Sales

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