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‘Mendacious, deliberate attempt to paint the group in worst possible light’: Adani Group asks FT to take down its misleading March 22 article

Slamming the Western publication, the Adani Group said the Financial Times article demonstrated a willingness to be selective in using publicly available facts, lazy in its approach to understanding disclosures to which its reporters were directed, and made false insinuations against it.

The Adani Group wrote a letter to the Financial Times on 10 April 2023, asking it to pull down its article published on 22 March 2023 that said the business conglomerate’s foreign direct investment came from offshore entities linked to his family. The group rubbished the allegations by the Financial Times stating that it was a “mendacious, deliberate effort to paint the Adani Group and the Adani family in the worst possible light.”

Slamming the Western publication, the Adani Group said the article demonstrated a willingness to be selective in using publicly available facts, lazy in its approach to understanding disclosures to which its reporters were directed, and made false insinuations against it.

“Our statement to your reporter, that all the transactions about which the Financial Times inquired have been publicly disclosed, is accurate, and the story amply demonstrates that your reporters conveniently chose not to look in a meaningful way at those public disclosures or even at the related press releases (including ones that the Financial Times covered at the time),” the statement released by the Adani Group said.

Alluding malice on the part of the Financial Times and its reporters, the Adani Group said if their journalists had considered all the fillings and other disclosures, “they would have been simply unable to include – with any honesty – their subjective epithets about “hard-to-scrutinise money flows”, “opaque overseas investments” and “funds of unclear provenance.”

The Financial Times ignored a fact that had already been publicly disclosed on January 18th and 23rd, 2021: that the Adani Group’s promoters sold a 20% stake in Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL) to TotalEnergies of France (previously Total Renewables SAS) and raised USD 2 billion. This sale was reported by the Financial Times at the time of its occurrence. However, the newspaper made no mention of it in its article published on March 22nd, 2023.

An Adani press release in October 2019 announced that the Adani Group’s promoters raised USD 700 million by selling a 37.4% stake in Adani Total Gas Ltd. This news was reported by the Financial Times when it occurred, but it was not mentioned in the newspaper’s recent article on March 22nd, 2023.

“These funds were reinvested by promoter entities to support the growth of new business and in portfolio companies such as Adani Enterprises Ltd, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd, Adani Transmission Ltd and Adani Power Ltd. The promoter entities have had substantial holdings in Adani companies, which have increased over time. It is through the timely use of funds received through the sale of equity that these entities have been able to increase their investments,” the statement said.

The Group further added that the Adani family utilized the proceeds from the secondary sale to purchase more equity in AGEL and offer support through a shareholder loan and other securities. These actions were publicly disclosed and known to the public.

Coming down hard on the Financial Times for its sloppy reportage, the business conglomerate accused it of incorrectly mixing primary and secondary investments, and also ignoring entirely a secondary transaction of USD 2 Billion, so that the reporters could conveniently create an illusion of a USD 2 billion ‘gap in funding’ to reinforce their prejudiced thesis of supposed round-tripping. The Group said the notion of supposed round-tripping is debunked once the AGEL equity proceeds are taken into account.

The Adani Group also highlighted inherent contradictions in the article, for example in one instance the FT article talked about entities supplying FDI to the business conglomerate being close to the “promoter group”, while in another instance, in the same article, the publication describes organisations funding FDI to the Adani Group as obscure entities.

“The facts are easily available and transparent. They are available through relevant securities regulatory filings that were made at the time and are a matter of public record,” the Group added.

In its conclusion, the Group emphasized that they are fully compliant with securities laws and have not obscured any information regarding promoter ownership and financing. It said that through a misleading narrative, the Financial Times’ story had caused reputational damage to the Adani Group companies.

“We ask you to take down the story immediately from your website. Further, because this story has driven misunderstanding in the market and with other media, and has become a political issue, we are compelled to share this information publicly at this time. That is regrettable but could have been avoided by your reporters taking a careful and objective approach,” the statement concluded.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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