The promoter group led by billionaire Gautam Adani has paid off all of the $2.15 billion loans taken by pledging their shares in the conglomerate, with only debt at the operating company level remaining, Adani Group said, seeking to reassure investors of its ability to repay debt.
Adani Group in a statement termed reports of the group not completing repayment of $2.15 billion share-backed debt “baseless and deliberately mischievous.”
“Adani has completed full prepayment of margin-linked share-backed financing aggregating to $2.15 billion (as was announced on March 12) and all corresponding shares pledged for those facilities have been released,” it said.
While “all share-backed facilities availed by the promoters have been paid off”, residual pledges pertain to debt taken by operating companies, it said.
“After such repayment, pledge positions for Adani Green, Adani Ports, Adani Transmission and Adani Enterprises have reduced substantially, and only residual share pledges corresponding to Operating Company (OpCo) facilities remained outstanding,” it said.
OpCo debts are obtained by the relevant companies and are included in their current debt structures; no new OpCo facilities have been obtained since the damning report from a US short-seller on January 24.
The statement came after reports stated exchange filings showing banks not releasing a large portion of the promoters’ shares held as collateral to suggest that the debt hasn’t been fully paid off. Adani said OpCo secured various facilities based on the security of project assets, project cash flow and other such collaterals.
On March 7, it had said Rs 7,374 crore ($902 million) had been repaid. The consolidated number of $2.15 billion was released on March 12.
This came after founder and chairman Gautam Adani sold $1.87 billion in shares in flagship incubating firm Adani Enterprises Ltd, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd, Adani Transmission, and Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) to GQG Partners on March 2 in an attempt to turn the narrative since the release of the Hindenburg Research report.
In the January 24 report, Hindenburg flagged “substantial” debt levels at the group while alleging accounting fraud and the use of offshore shell companies to inflate stock prices.
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