Gautam Adani enlisted some of India’s leading tycoons to salvage his industrial group’s $2.4bn share sale after a short seller’s accusations of fraud threatened to torpedo the offering, according to people familiar with the matter.
Entities connected to Sajjan Jindal, the billionaire chair of conglomerate JSW, and Sunil Mittal, the chief of Bharti Enterprises, invested in Adani Enterprises’ share offering, two of those people said.
Other family offices managing money for some of India’s wealthiest business figures were also approached as Adani Group tried to secure backing for the deal, several people told the Financial Times.
“On Saturday, it was known in the community that they were approaching high-net-worth families,” said one business figure who was contacted but did not invest. “I know they’ve raised money from family offices.”
One tycoon pledged a $60mn investment in the share sale, said one person with knowledge of the situation.
JSW and Bharti Enterprises declined to comment. Adani Group declined to comment.
Shares in all nine of the Adani Group’s listed companies sold off on Wednesday in Mumbai despite the successful closing of the share sale, which became a test of the market’s faith in the group following allegations from Hindenburg Research, a US-based investor.
Hindenburg, which said it was betting against the Adani Group via short positions on investments, alleged that the Indian group had been manipulating its stock price and engaging in accounting fraud. Adani vehemently denied the allegations, calling them malicious and discredited.
Most bids for the public tranche of the deal, which closed on Tuesday, came from non-institutional investors, with strong demand from wealthy Indians, according to brokers. Mutual funds did not take part in the sale, while retail investors bid for just 12 per cent of their allotment.
The share sale was boosted after Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Company on Monday said it would invest $400mn. Institutions including London-based Jupiter Asset Management had committed to buying about 30 per cent of the total shares on offer last week, before Hindenburg’s allegations.
Adani Group’s flagship business Adani Enterprises, which was raising the $2.4bn in extra equity, fell 10 per cent on Wednesday, as did Adani Total Gas, while Adani Green Energy fell 9.7 per cent.
The latest share price falls across have left the market capitalisation of Adani Group stocks down more than Rs6.5tn ($80bn) since Hindenburg released its short report, reflecting a fall of more than a third in just over a week.
Adani Group has grown over the past three years to become one of India’s largest industrial groups across infrastructure and logistics, turning Gautam Adani into one of the world’s wealthiest men.