With a follow on share sale, Adani was set to ward off concerns about its mounting debt, in the spotlight ever since it was called overleveraged last year. But the Rs 20,000 crore fundraiser was hit by allegations of fraud against Adani in the Hindenburg report, which sent its stocks crashing down. Unable to impress retail investors, Adani cancelled the FPO even after it was fully subscribed, but the abrupt move caught the market regulator's eye.
The Mauritius connection
The Securities and Exchange Board of India is now probing links between Adani, and those who did buy into the crucial FPO. SEBI is investigating two firms Great International Tusker Fund and Ayushmat, both based out of Mauritius. This comes as UK's regulator is investigating Elara Capital, which was a bookrunner for Adani's FPO, and was named by Hindenburg as a firm that used its fund in Mauritius to inflate the group's stocks.
SEBI is reportedly trying to find out if the Mauritius-based anchor investors in the FPO are linked to the founders of Adani.
The breakdown of a failed rescue bid
It has been found that while retail investors only subscribed to 12 per cent of Adani Enterprises shares set aside for them, and employees only bought 55 per cent, Adani's existing investor and India's ultra rich families saved it. A bulk of investment came from Abu Dhabi's International Holding Company, which had already invested more than Rs 15,000 crore in the group.
Then there were NIIs, which includes family trusts of India's ultra high-net worth clans. Earlier reports by Business Standard had also suggested that Ambanis, Sunil Mittal and Sajjan Jindal may have rescued Adani's big FPO.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)