The Adani Group has strongly denied recent claims made by a digital publication that the company has not completed the repayment of a USD 2.15 billion share-backed debt. In a statement, the group stated that it has fully prepaid margin-linked share-backed financing, with all corresponding shares pledged for those facilities having been released.
The group also provided a breakdown of its share pledge position as of 31 December 2022 and as of 27 March 2023. It explained that all share-backed facilities availed by the promoters had been paid off and that residual share pledges corresponded only to Operating Company facilities. It stated that OpCo facilities are availed by respective OpCo and are part of their existing debt structure.
Adani stated that the SEBI SAST Rule 29(1) & 29(2), along with 29(4), stipulated disclosure obligations on the pledge or release of 5 per cent or more shares of the company, which was only applicable to Adani Ports, and that it had filed disclosures accordingly.
The Group emphasised that the residual share pledge position had been secured based on the security of project assets, project cash flow, and other such collaterals. It also noted that the facilities did not have covenants like cash margin calls, share price linked put options, etc. which exist in share-backed financing.
The publication alleged that banks had not yet released a large portion of the Adani Group's promoters' shares, as they should have if the loans had been completely repaid. However, the Adani Group refuted this, stating that all pledged shares had been released subsequent to prepayments made and that any share pledge or release is automatically reported by the system-driven disclosure (SDD) mechanism of the depository participant.
The Adani Group also clarified that there had been incremental prepayments of USD 134 million completed after the press release of 6 February 2023 (USD 1,114 million) and 7 March 2023 (USD 902 million), resulting in the updated debt figure of USD 2.15 billion for the press release of 12 March 2023.
The Adani Group's statement comes amid ongoing scrutiny of the company by regulatory authorities in India and overseas. However, the group has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has stated that it is committed to transparency and complying with all applicable laws and regulations.