'Adani Group Is Back On Expansion Spree': Jefferies Bullish On Group Companies

'Adani Group Is Back On Expansion Spree': Jefferies Bullish On Group Companies

Post the Hindenburg report, the group had erased close to USD 150 billion in its market value.

ANIUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2024, 03:23 PM IST
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'Adani Group Is Back On Expansion Spree': Jefferies Bullish On Group Companies | Image: Wikipedia (Representative)

Adani Group, whose market capitalisation was badly hit by a US-based short seller report in early 2023, has recovered from the losses and the Indian conglomerate is back on an "expansion spree".

"The group is back on an expansion spree and eyeing USD 90 billion capex over next decade," said investment bank and financial services firm Jefferies in a report, as it forecasts a road ahead for the Group.

Jefferies' Insights on Adani Group's Financial

During the financial 2023-24, the Group largely focused on containing its debt, the investment bank in its report. "During FY24, the group focused on containing debt, reducing founders share pledge." "Total group EBITDA grew 40 per cent YoY in 2023-24 (to Rs 660 billion), the group raised fresh funds from equity/debt/strategic investors, promoter increased stake in group Cos and group Mcap rebounded," the Jefferies report noted.

Impact of the Hindenburg Report

Last year, an American short seller Hindenburg Group launched an attack on Adani Group in January this year through a report that allegedly claimed accounting fraud, stock price manipulation and improper use of tax havens.

Post the Hindenburg report, the group had erased close to USD 150 billion in its market value.

Adani Group has been denying all allegations since the beginning of the controversy.

The Adani Group had then attacked Hindenburg as "an unethical short seller", stating that the report by the New York-based entity was "nothing but a lie". A short-seller in the securities market books gains from the subsequent reduction in the prices of shares.

Since the short seller report and the subsequent fall in shares, the group's market cap has been consistently rising over the past and has recouped all its losses lately. It shows that despite allegations, investors have reposed faith in the Adani group companies.

The Supreme Court in early January said the report against the Adani Group can't be the basis for doubting the capital markets regulator SEBI's investigation into the Hindenburg case.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has investigated 22 out of the 24 cases linked to the US-based short seller Hindenburg Research's allegations. The Supreme Court had given the SEBI three months to complete the investigation in the remaining two cases.

The Supreme Court also ordered the government and SEBI to check whether Hindenburg has ignored rules in shorting the market and to take action accordingly.

Coming back to Jefferies' report, it noted that the net debt at the group level (eight Companies plus the debt related to cement business acquisition) remained stable at Rs 2.2 trillion in 2023-24 versus Rs 2.3 trillion.

The Jefferies report also highlighted key developments taken at the Group level. The group commissioned the Ingot wafer unit.

The Jefferies report also highlighted key developments taken at the Group level. The group commissioned the Ingot wafer unit. | Representative Image

Key developments taken at the Group

The Jefferies report also highlighted key developments taken at the Group level. The group commissioned the Ingot wafer unit.

Adani Cement completed the Sanghi Cement acquisition. Adani Ports acquired Gopalpur port in Odisha; Adani Power commissioned a 1.6 GW Godda power plant; Adani Green added 2.8 GW renewable energy capacity; commenced operations for its 775 megawatt solar power projects in Khavda, Gujarat.

Further, Adani Energy Solutions had 1,244 ckm (Circuit kilometer) of transmission lines; Adani Total Gas added 91 CNG stations, and 116,000 domestic PNG customers during the year.

Adani Wilmar's food and FMCG business scaled to 1 million tonnes in volumes and Rs 50 billion in turnover with improving margins.

Jefferies also touched upon way ahead, company-wise at Adani Group.

It said flagship company Adani Enterprises is scaling its captive manufacturing capacity towards starting Green Hydrogen production by 2026-27; Navi Mumbai Airport appears likely to commission by the fourth quarter of the current financial year 2024-25; data centre projects are also scaling up.

Adani Cement management, it says, continues to guide the doubling of cement capacity and scale-up in unit EBITDA to industry-leading Rs 1450-1500 per tonne by 2027-28.

Adani Ports recently published its five-year business road map, targeting an 18 per cent EBITDA compound annual growth rate in 2023-24-2028-29.

"Ports EBITDA is expected to rise at 16 per cent CAGR led by expansion and ramp-up with the company targeting 1 billion tonne cargo volume by 2030 (15 per cent CAGR)," Jefferies report noted.

Adani Green raised its 2030 power capacity target from 45 GW to 50 GW now including 5GW pumped hydro.

Adani Total Gas plans to grow new business segments including the LNG station network for the transport and mining sector and EV charging facilities.

Adani Wilmar is focused on distribution expansion, ramping alternate channels and improving the mix of premium brands, the investment bank's report noted.

Jefferies has given a 'buy' call for Adani Enterprises with a target price of Rs 3,800, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd at Rs 1,640, Adani Energy Solutions at Rs 1,365, and Ambuja Cements at Rs 735, respectively.

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