Three investment funds that purchased shares in Adani Enterprises’ scuttled $2.5 billion offering have ties to the Adani Group and suspected Adani proxies, according to a Forbes analysis
Three investment funds with ties to the Adani Group committed to buying up shares as investors in Adani Enterprises follow-on stock offering, which was abruptly canceled Wednesday following a drop in Adani Enterprises’ share price in the wake of U.S. short seller Hindenburg Research’s 100-page report.
Two Mauritius-based funds, Ayushmat Ltd and Elm Park Fund, and India-based Aviator Global Investment Fund, together agreed to buy 9.24% of all shares available to anchor investors, the institutional investors who are allotted shares a day before the public offering. That percentage represented an investment of just $66 million, but is likely more evidence of Adani getting help from affiliated parties.
The three funds’ ties to Adani have not previously been reported, and follow Forbes’ report Wednesday that two of Adani Enterprises’ book-runners, Elara Capital and Monarch Networth Capital, were alleged to be Adani affiliates by Hindenburg.
The Adani Group’s seven publicly listed companies have lost over $100 billion of market value in the ten days since Hindenburg accused it of a decades-long scheme of fraudulent self enrichment. The group issued a lengthy denial and reply to Hindenburg’s report and has threatened legal action against the investment firm. The Adani Group did not respond to Forbes’ request for comment for this article.
Demand for Adani Enterprises’ $2.5 billion stock offering slumped after the short seller’s report. Despite Abu Dhabi’s last-minute injection of $400 million, the Adani Group called off the sale and said it will return funds to investors, with Gautam Adani himself citing in a video the “volatility of the market” and adding that it would not have been “morally correct” to go ahead under the circumstances. (He did not address the Hindenburg allegations.) Adani Enterprises stock has fallen more than 50% since January 24, the day before the Hindenburg report was published.
One of Adani Enterprises’ would-be anchor investors was Ayushmat Ltd, a Mauritius-based fund that had pledged to buy 2.32% of the shares offered early to the institutional investors. Ayushmat is administered by Rogers Capital, a financial services firm in Mauritius. One of Rogers’ directors and key shareholders is Jayechund Jingree, who was formerly a director of the Mauritius-headquartered Adani Global Ltd., a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises.
Jingree also has ties to Vinod Adani, Gautam’s brother and a key player in the Adani Group’s web of offshore companies. As described by Hindenburg, Jingree’s longtime U.K. brokerage, Orbit Investment Securities, was formerly named Jermyn Capital and controlled by Dharmesh Doshi, a former Indian fugitive in connection to a stock rigging scam in 2001, for which his partner, Ketan Parekh, was convicted. Doshi and Jermyn Capital were alleged to have participated in another stock rigging scam involving Indian drugmaker Sun Pharmaceuticals between 2007 and 2009 (Sun’s founder, Dilip Shanghvi, is one of India’s richest, worth $16 billion). That scheme also allegedly involved Jineshwar Holdings, a Mauritius company later revealed by offshore data leaks to be controlled by Vinod Adani.
Vikram Rege, a director at Ayushmat Ltd., said in an emailed statement to Forbes, “Ayushmat Ltd. does not manage any funds on behalf of any Adani Group principals.” Jingree did not respond to a request for comment.
Rege is also a director at Elm Park Fund, which had planned to be the second largest investor (5.67%) in Adani Enterprises’ anchor offering. Elm Park Fund, a Mauritius-based fund, was also alleged to have engaged in the Sun Pharma stock rigging scheme, according to a whistleblower complaint obtained by Moneylife India in 2018. Elm Park Fund was one of a “host of foreign entities involved in questionable transactions in the Indian equity market” as part of the scheme, according to Moneylife India. Forbes could not locate the full complaint; the Securities and Exchange Board of India previously declined to share it.
Rege did not address Forbes’ questions about Elm Park Fund, and the fund did not respond to Forbes’ requests for comment as of press time.
Lastly, Aviator Global Investment Fund subscribed to 1.25% of Adani Enterprises’ anchor shares. The Aviator Global Investment Fund’s senior management official, per 2021 Indian parliamentary records, is Antonino Sardegno. According to Sardegno’s LinkedIn profile (which disappeared within hours after Forbes reached out to him for comment), he led “investment solutions” from 2008 to 2013 for Monterosa Group. In its report, Hindenburg alleged that Monterosa Group and five of its investment funds, holding $4.5 billion of Adani company stock (as of January 24), was Adani’s largest “stock parking entity,” meaning, a third-party fund designed to conceal ownership.
More recently, Sardegno was CEO of Andetta Private Services from 2013 until August 2022. Andetta, which Hindenburg identified as a subsidiary of offshore firm Amicorp, is the controlling shareholder of New Leaina Investments, a Cyprus fund that previously owned over 1% of Adani Green Energy, Adani’s renewable energy company, and smaller stakes in other Adani companies, according to Hindenburg’s research and the Adani Group’s financial disclosures of foreign investors. Hindenburg alleges that Amicorp “formed at least 7 Adani promoter entities, at least 17 offshore shells and entities associated with Vinod Adani, and at least 3 Mauritius-based offshore shareholders of Adani stock.” Sardegno, Andetta Private Services and Amicorp have not responded to Forbes’ requests for comment as of press time.
If Adani Group principals are the ultimate beneficial owners of these various funds, that would mean the Adani Group is also a large stakeholder in one of the Adani Group’s rivals: the Hinduja Group, the $70 billion (annual sales) Indian conglomerate controlled by the four Hinduja brothers. The Aviator Global Investment Fund, New Leaina Investments and three other funds with ties to Adani Group – Elara India Opportunities Fund, Connecor Investment Enterprise Ltd and LGOF Global Opportunities Limited – all hold sizeable stakes in Hinduja Global Solutions, Hinduja Leyland Finance and Hinduja’s Gulf Oil Corp Limited. The Hinduja Group had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.