Sebi probes Adani’s links to investors amid Hindenburg allegations
The market regulator is looking into any potential securities law violations or any conflicts of interest during the share sale, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. this topic said.
The watchdog is investigating the ties between Adani and at least two Mauritius-based companies – Great International Tusker Fund and Ayushmat – that participated as anchor investors, among others, The sources spoke on condition of anonymity due to the confidential nature of the probe.
According to the capital requirements and disclosure rules, any entity related to a company founder or a group of founders is not eligible to apply under the fixed investor category. One of the sources said the focus of the investigation was on whether any of the fixed investors were “connected” to the founding team.
Port energy corporation – controlled by billionaire Gautam Adani, one of the richest people in the world — has seen the shares of seven of its companies lose more than $100 billion in market value since Hindenburg Research’s January 24 report, accusing them of using misuse of offshore tax havens and stock manipulation. Adani has denied the allegations. Last week, the group’s flagship, Adani Enterprises, halted its largest-ever secondary share offering in India, due to a sharp sell-off.
Sebi and the Adani Group did not respond to requests for comment on the investigation. Great International Tusker Fund and Ayushmat also did not respond to requests for comment.
The sources added that SEBI approached the two companies last week.
One of the sources said Elara and Monarch’s roles are being examined by the market watchdog to rule out “any conflict” in the share offering process.
Shares of Adani Enterprises extended their losses to 5% in Friday afternoon trading following the Reuters report, having previously fallen 2.5% earlier in the day.
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Hindenburg has accused a private Adani entity of having a small ownership stake in Monarch – which previously worked as a group planner – saying that “this close relationship seems to cause conflict”. clear benefits.” The short seller also alleges that the Mauritius-based fund Elara has invested 99% of its market value in three Adani stocks.
Adani said Monarch was selected to sell shares earlier “because of its credentials and ability to penetrate the retail market”. On Elara, Adani said the “insinuation” that the company is related to the group founders in any way is incorrect.
When contacted, Monarch referred Reuters to an exchange disclosure on February 3 that an Adani entity held a “negligible amount of equity,” 0.03%, in the company. since 2016. Reuters could not confirm this from public records. Elara did not respond to a request for comment on the regulator’s investigation and Hindenburg’s allegations.
In recent days, the aftermath of allegations by Hindenburg, which profited from the decline in the value of Adani Group’s assets, has repeatedly become a cause of concern at the national level, including at office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, two government officials said.
Opposition parties have protested before parliament to call for an independent investigation into Hindenburg’s allegations.
The Department of Corporate Affairs, which is responsible for the management of Indian businesses, informed officials in Mr. Modi’s office and contacted Sebi, the market regulator, one of the officials. said. Reuters was unable to determine the specifics of these discussions, which have not been previously reported.
The department issued a review of Adani’s previous financial statements on February 2.
Modi’s office and the corporate affairs ministry did not respond to requests for comment on the regulatory investigation into Adani after the Hindenburg report was released.
The group has previously said that Hindenburg’s allegations of stock manipulation are “unfounded” and stem from a lack of understanding of Indian law. It has said that it always makes the necessary regulatory disclosures. Finance secretary TV Somanathan on Saturday described the Adani issue as a “storm in a teacup” from a macroeconomic perspective.