Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s flagship company raises $2.5 billion

London/New Delhi

The business empire of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani is planning to raise nearly $2.5 billion in new shares to fuel expansion into new areas.

Adani Enterprises, Adani Group’s flagship company, said in a stock exchange filing on Friday that its board had approved a new share issue to raise 200 billion rupiah ($2.45 billion). According to Reuters, it will be India’s largest ever follow-on public share offering.

Asia’s richest man, Adani, has rapidly expanded his corporate portfolio since the pandemic began, acquiring businesses in everything from cement manufacturing to airports.

“Adani needs funding at the holding company level. It is the flagship company. They need funding for many new initiatives, acquisitions and new projects,” Reuters quoted a source familiar with the financing as saying.

College dropout Adani briefly became the world’s second-richest person in September, surpassing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. So far this year, his fortune has risen by $51 billion, according to the index.

In the first 10 months of this year, the shares of Adani’s seven listed companies have soared 10% to 260% in sectors such as ports and power stations.

But the conglomerate’s massive growth has been fueled by a $30 billion borrowing binge that has made it one of the most indebted businesses in the country and sparked concern among analysts.

Adani Enterprises said in a filing on Friday that it will ask shareholders to approve the new share offering by postal vote.

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