Indian billionaire Gautam Adani on Wednesday abandoned a deal to raise $2.5 billion from investors after a week-long meltdown in the value of his logistics and energy business empire that started when an American short seller accused the conglomerate of fraud.
The share sale — the largest offering by a company already listed on India’s stock market — had closed successfully just 24 hours earlier. His flagship company, Adani Enterprises, had found enough willing backers despite days of market turmoil following the publication of a scathing analysis by Hindenburg Research.
But a brutal day of trading Wednesday wiped billions more off the value of his companies, including Adani Enterprises. The conglomerate has seen its value plunge by about $90 billion since the Hindenburg report was published. So Adani reversed course, announcing his decision in a stock exchange filing after 10 p.m. local time.
“Today the market has been unprecedented, and our stock price has fluctuated over the course of the day,” Adani said in a statement. “Given these extraordinary circumstances, the company’s board felt that going ahead with the [share] issue will not be morally correct,” he added.