Adani founders prepay $1.1 billion loans in bid to stem stock rout

NEW DELHI: Billionaire Gautam Adani and his family have prepaid $1.11 billion worth of borrowings backed by shares as the ports-to-power conglomerate seeks to allay investor fears and stem a stock rout that’s in its third week.
The founders’ early payment will help release 11.77 million shares in Adani Transmission Ltd, the group said in a statement Monday. As many as 168.27 million shares of Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. will be released along with 27.56 million shares of Adani Green Energy Ltd.
Adani Ports extended gains to 9.3% after the announcement but Adani Transmission and Adani Green were down 10% and 5% respectively on the day.
Adani is seeking to restore confidence in his sprawling conglomerate’s financial health after a scathing short seller attack in late-January wiped out $118 billion of the group’s market value and forced the flagship to scrap a share sale. US-based Hindenburg Research had accused it of accounting fraud, stock price manipulation and pledging their inflated shares for loans —- allegations Adani has repeatedly denied.
Adani Group Chief Financial Officer Jugeshinder Singh told an Indian news channel CNBC TV-18 in an interview aired January 30 that the group’s aggregate debt is about $30 billion.
Last week, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the discussion that the Adani Group was in talks with creditors to prepay some loans backed by pledged shares. The key priority for the prepayment is to remove any concern about margin calls, the people said.