Mumbai: The Adani Group pledged more shares of its ports arm to lenders, reflecting the growing spotlight on the conglomerate’s liquidity amid a short seller attack that has wiped out $75 billion from the market value of Gautam Adani’s empire.
Flourishing Trade and Investments Ltd. encumbered 0.56 per cent more shares of Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. to Catalyst Trusteeship Ltd., according to an exchange filing Tuesday. Catalyst, which is acting as a security trustee on behalf of lenders, now holds 5.11 per cent shares of the port operator under pledge, it said.
Adani Ports, India’s largest private-sector port operator with a 30 per cent market share, has plunged 19.3 per cent in the last four trading sessions since US-based Hindenburg Research’s scathing report last week. The short seller accused the Adani conglomerate of “brazen” stock manipulation and accounting fraud “- allegations that the group rebutted in a 413-page response but couldn’t stem the stock rout.
The additional pledge comes at a time when the tycoon’s flagship Adani Enterprises is holding a follow-on share sale and trying to boost investor confidence despite Hindenburg’s allegations that include Adani Group operating a web of companies in tax havens.
Billionaire Adani, who started as a diamond trader in Mumbai in the 1980s, now helms a conglomerate spanning ports, airports, coals mines, power plants and has more recently diversified into in renewables, cement, realty and media.