Adani group firm repays ₹1,500 cr. in comeback strategy

February 20, 2023 08:45 pm | Updated 08:45 pm IST - New Delhi

Adani group firm Adani Ports & SEZ paid ₹1,500-crore loan and promised to repay more as the embattled conglomerate mapped a comeback strategy after a sellout triggered by a damning report by U.S.-based Hindenburg Research.

Adani Ports and SEZ paid SBI Mutual Funds’ due amount of ₹1,500 crore on Monday and will also pay another ₹1,000 crore of commercial papers due in March [as per the payment scheme], a company spokesperson said.

“This part prepayment is from the existing cash balance and funds generated from the business operations,” the spokesperson said. “This underscores the confidence which the market has placed on the prudent capital and liquidity management plan for the group.”

The apple-to-airport conglomerate is hoping to claw back the narrative with payback and calm jittery investors and lenders who were spooked by allegations of accounting fraud and stock manipulations. Adani group has denied all the allegations.

The firm has already brought in Kekst CNC as a global communications advisor to help change the narrative building in international media. It has also engaged American law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz to fight back against the short seller’s allegations.

Adani group’s gross debt stood at ₹2.26 lakh crore as of September 2022 and had cash of ₹31,646 crore.

Adani group has been on an overdrive to address investor concerns around debt. It has called off a plan to acquire a coal plant of DB Power for over ₹7,000 crore and is drawing up a roadmap detailing the repayment schedule of existing debt.

APSEZ said on February 8 it will repay ₹5,000-crore debt in year financial year starting April and the group would also repay a $500 million bridge loan due next month.

Earlier this month, French oil major TotalEnergies said it would wait for the result of an independent audit before proceeding with investing in Adani Group’s $50 billion plans to make green hydrogen.

According to Bernstein Research, Adani Green is capable of paying off all its debt of ₹22,000 crore due in the financial year ending in March 2025, if it divests some renewable energy assets, seeks fresh equity capital from existing investors, or cancels some planned projects and avoids bidding for new ones.

A group spokesperson, however, termed questions over the group’s ability to fund projects and refinance debt ‘unfounded speculation’.

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the rating outlook for four Adani group companies to negative from stable.

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