The embattled Adani Group has sold minority stakes in four of its listed companies to US-based GQG Partners for Rs 15,446 crore as the apple-to-airport conglomerate, recovering from a sell-off triggered by a short-seller report, looks to shore up liquidity ahead of the USD 2 billion debt repayment due in the coming months.
It sold shares in flagship incubating firm Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL), port company Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), electricity transmitting firm Adani Transmission Ltd (ATL) and renewable energy firm Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL).
"GQG is investing in Adani portfolio companies which own and operate the largest airport and port platform in India, largest private sector transmission and distribution platform in India and that will generate about 9 per cent of India's renewable energy capacity by 2030," it said in a statement on Thursday.
The deal happened through secondary market block deals.
"The investment has made GQG a key investor in the development and growth of critical Indian infrastructure," it added.
The share sale is part of the Gautam Adani-led group's comeback strategy after a damning report from an American short seller wiped out more than USD 140 billion off the conglomerate's market value.
The group has a gross debt of Rs 2.21 lakh crore, about 8 per cent of which is due for repayment by the end of next fiscal year.
In AEL, where the promoters held 72.6 per cent stake prior to the sale, 3.8 crore shares or 3.39 per cent stake was sold for Rs 5,460 crore.
In APSEZ, where promoters held 66 per cent stake, 8.8 crore shares or 4.1 per cent shareholding was sold for Rs 5,282 crore.
As much as 2.8 crore shares or 2.5 per cent stake in of ATL, where promoters held 73.9 per cent shareholding, was sold for Rs 1,898 crore.
In AGEL, where promoters held 60.5 per cent shareholding, 5.5 crore shares or 3.5 per cent stake was sold for Rs 2,806 crore.
"GQG Partners, a leading US-based global equity investment boutique, announced today the completion of a Rs 15,446 crore (USD 1.87 billion) in a series of secondary block trade transactions in the Adani portfolio companies - APSEZ, AGEL, ATL and AEL," the statement said.
Jefferies India Private Limited acted as the sole broker for the transaction.
Rajiv Jain, Chairman and CIO of GQG Partners, said, "I am excited to have initiated positions in the Adani companies." "Adani companies own and operate some of the largest and most important infrastructure assets throughout India and around the world. Gautam Adani is widely regarded as among the best entrepreneurs of his generation.
"We believe that the long-term growth prospects for these companies are substantial, and we are pleased to be investing in companies that will help advance India's economy and energy infrastructure, including their energy transition over the long-run," he said.
Adani Group CFO Jugeshinder (Robbie) Singh said the transaction with GQG marks the continued confidence of global investors in the governance, management practices and the growth of Adani portfolio of companies.
India's total electricity generating capacity is more than 390 GW and renewables exceed 100 GW. Last year at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Indian government announced that by 2030 India's non-fossil fuel capacity would be 500 GW.
"Adani Group plans to supply the country with 45 GW (9 per cent of India's renewable energy) by 2030," the statement said.
"Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited, the distribution arm of ATL (committed to Net Zero by 2050) has legally covenanted targets to increase the renewable energy penetration from 3 per cent in FY21 to 60 per cent by FY27," it added.
APSEZ has committed to being carbon neutral by 2025 and to be a leader in the development of sustainable transport utility. "AEL, through its wholly owned subsidiary Adani New Industries Limited, has committed to build, over the next 9 years, a new green hydrogen vertical focused on decarbonization of industrial energy and mobility," it said.
The investment comes at a time when Adani Group has been under a cloud after US-based short seller Hindenburg Research accused the conglomerate of stock manipulation and accounting fraud.
Though the group has denied all allegations and responded to allegations with detailed replies, shares of group companies had plunged. They, however, have recovered some of the losses in the last two trading sessions.
Florida-headquartered GQG had offices in New York, London, Seattle and Sydney. It is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and managed USD 92 billion in client assets as of January 31.
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