Billionaire entrepreneur Gautam Adani has said that the interest of his investors is paramount for him, while clarifying Wednesday's decision to call off fully subscribed Rs 20,000-crore follow-on public offer (FPO). In a video address released on Thursday, Adani said it would not be "morally correct" to go ahead with the Rs 20,000-crore share in the current market condition.
"After a fully subscribed FPO, yesterday's decision of its withdrawal would have surprised many. But considering the volatility of the market seen yesterday, the board strongly felt that it would not be morally correct to proceed with the FPO," Adani said in an address to investors on Thursday.
"In my humble journey of over 4 decades as an entrepreneur, I have been blessed to receive overwhelming support from all stakeholders, particularly the investor community. It is important for me to confess that whatever little I have achieved in life is due to the faith and trust reposed by them. I owe all my success to them. For me, the interest of my investors is paramount and everything is secondary. Hence to insulate the investors from potential losses we have withdrawn the FPO," Adani added.
The decision, he said, will not have any impact on existing operations and future plans. "We will continue to focus on timely execution and delivery of projects."
The fundamentals of the company are strong, Adani said. "Our balance sheet is healthy and assets robust. Our EBITDA levels and cash flows have been very strong and we have an impeccable track record of fulfilling our debt obligations. We will continue to focus on long-term value creation and growth will be managed by internal accruals."
Adani said the group would review the capital market strategy once the market stabilizes.
"We have a strong focus on ESG and every business of ours will continue to create value in a responsible way. The strongest validation of our governance principles comes from several international partnerships we have built across our different entities," he added.
He also thanked investment bankers, institutional investors and shareholders from within and outside the country for giving unflinching support to the FPO.
This comes as the shares of Adani Group firms slumped on Wednesday, losing more than Rs 7 lakh crore of their combined market capitalisation in the last five trading sessions. The trouble comes amid the US-based short seller Hindenburg Research's report that the group had engaged in fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation.
Adani group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements. It called the Hindenburg report baseless and has threatened to sue the tiny New York short seller.