Adani Group says Hindenburg report is ‘bogus,’ Bill Ackman calls it ‘highly credible’

Companies linked to Indian billionaire Gautam Adani plan a detailed response Friday to a short seller’s report that they labeled as “bogus,” according to bondholders who participated in a conference call with Adani executives.

The Adani Group held the call with fixed-income investors after US short seller Hindenburg Research leveled a series of extraordinary allegations about the sprawling conglomerate. Adani Group set out a reply to some of the issues in an 18-page presentation titled “Myths of Short Seller” on the call, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named as the talks were private.

The group said it would publish a more detailed reply to Hindenburg’s 100-page dossier on Friday. On the call, it told investors that assertions of accounting fraud were “devoid of facts.” Eight of the nine Adani portfolio companies are audited by one of the so-called “big six auditors, according to the presentation seen by Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman found the Hindenburg report on Adani Group companies “highly credible and extremely well researched,” he said in a Twitter post.

“Adani’s response to Hindenburg Research is the same as Herbalife’s response to our original 350-page presentation,” Ackman said, referring to his ill-fated short-selling campaign that lasted more than five years against the weight-loss shakes seller.

The company wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Hindenburg, in a statement on Twitter as the call was beginning, said Adani Group “hasn’t addressed a single substantive issue we raised.”

The 2027 dollar bond issued by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. rose for a second day on Friday, increasing 0.1 cents per dollar to 82.3 cents, according to Bloomberg compiled data. Adani Green Energy Ltd.’s 2024 bond gained 0.2 cents on the dollar, to 84.9 cents on Friday, extending the prior day’s climb.

The investor call was arranged by Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc, according to one of the people. Barclays, Deutsche and Standard Chartered declined to comment while MUFG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hindenburg Research has said its report is the result of a two-year investigation into what it’s characterizing as a brazen scheme of stock manipulation and accounting fraud dating back decades.

The Adani Group has said it’s exploring legal action against Hindenburg Research, having called its report “maliciously mischievous” and “unresearched.”

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