Mumbai: Billionaire Gautam Adani will inject Rs200 billion ($2.5 billion) into a newly acquired cement firm and get his son to oversee the newly acquired business, as the world’s third-richest man seeks to strengthen his infrastructure empire.
Ambuja Cement will issue 477.48 million warrants to Harmonia Trade and Investment - a company linked to the Adani family - at Rs418.87 each, according to a stock exchange filing Friday, in what is one of the biggest preferential allotment for any Indian firm. Each warrant can be converted into one share each within 18 months of issuance.
Adani was appointed a board director and chairman of Ambuja Cements on Friday. His elder son, Karan Adani, 35, will be a director on the boards of both Ambuja Cements and ACC, according to separate exchange filings. Karan would also be ACC’s chairman.
The ports-to-power conglomerate became India’s second-largest cement maker after buying both these companies from Switzerland’s Holcim Ltd. in May - Adani’s biggest acquisition so far.
The recent announcements show that the tycoon is making the cement units a growth engine for his empire, fortifying a logistics chain that includes ports, airports, real estate and coal. Adani has been rapidly diversifying beyond his traditional fossil-fuel roots to branch into data centers, digital services, telecom and media.
Besides bringing in his son, the Indian billionaire is also planning to enlist key senior executives to help grow the cement business and mentor Karan, Bloomberg reported earlier Friday. The scion is also expected to find synergies between the group’s ports and cements businesses in order to create an integrated logistics firm, they said.
Gautam Adani has surged to prominence this year, as an eye-popping leap in his fortune made him one of the richest people on the planet in a matter of months, leapfrogging compatriot Mukesh Ambani and titans like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. He’s now gaining on world No. 2 Jeff Bezos.
A combination of soaring coal prices and skyrocketing equity gains fueled the wealth surge, which has enabled his conglomerate to supercharge its ambitions and diversify at breakneck speed. The tycoon is also making a $70 billion bet on green energy, a shift that’s been criticized as an attempt to greenwash the group’s coal focus.