The Adani Group has raised concerns over what it calls “renewed” attempts by the British newspaper Financial Times (FT) to resurrect old and unsubstantiated allegations against the conglomerate. Accusing FT of running an ongoing campaign against the group with the aim of advancing hidden interests under the pretext of public concern, the Adani Group has stated that the media outlet is planning a story on alleged over-invoicing of coal imports to financially destabilize one of India’s largest conglomerates.
In a media statement, the Adani Group asserted, “Having failed earlier, the FT is making another effort to financially destabilize the Adani Group by raking up an old, baseless allegation of over-invoicing of coal imports.” The conglomerate described this as the latest attack led by Financial Times journalist Dan McCrum, who, along with the OCCRP, had previously disseminated what the Adani Group called a “false narrative” against them on August 31, 2023.
The previous report by McCrum and John Reed had alleged that individuals linked to Gautam Adani’s brother Vinod Adani were involved in trading shares of the Adani Group through Bermuda’s Global Opportunities Fund, raising questions about potential share price manipulation. The Adani Group accused McCrum of collaborating with the OCCRP, an investigative reporting platform funded by George Soros, who has openly expressed hostility towards the Adani Group.
The Adani Group argued that the FT’s forthcoming story is based on a circular from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) dated March 30, 2016, and pointed out that the DRI’s circular mentioned as many as 40 importers, including not only the Adani Group but also other major private power generators and state power generating companies in India. The group emphasized that the issue of overvaluation in the import of coal had been conclusively settled by India’s highest court.
The Adani Group characterized the FT’s proposed story as a “clever recycling and selective misrepresentation of publicly available facts,” alleging that it disregarded India’s regulatory and judicial processes and authorities, and sought to reach a “predetermined conclusion.”
This development follows previous allegations by American short-seller Hindenburg in January, which accused the Adani Group of account fraud and stock manipulation. Although the group dismissed these allegations as “unresearched” and “maliciously mischievous,” it resulted in a significant drop in Adani Group’s stock value. However, over the last few months, the group has managed to recover some of its lost wealth due to investments by Indian-American investor Rajiv Jain in Adani Group’s stocks.
As per Forbes Billionaire’s index, Gautam Adani is currently ranked as the 24th richest person globally, with a net worth of $54.6 billion. Despite challenges and controversies, the Adani Group remains a significant player in India’s corporate landscape.