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Sunday, 29 January 2023

GCC investment in Adani Enterprises’ green finance-focused secondary offering isn’t going as planned

Strong GCC investor interest in India’s Adani Enterprises is at risk: While GCC investors had been eyeing bids for the INR 200 bn (USD 2.45 bn) secondary offering of India’s Adani Group subsidiary Adani Enterprises — which kicked off last Wednesday — a report published last week by Hindenburg Research has led the company’s share price to tumble and could put the offering at risk, Reuters reports. Adani had intended to use some INR 108.69 bn (USD 1.33 bn) from the secondary offering to fund green hydrogen projects, along with airport facilities and greenfield expressways, Bloomberg reported last week.

Which regional players bought in so far? UAE sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and other anchor investors bid for shares worth some INR 90 bn (USD 1.10 bn), making the INR 60 bn anchor portion of the offering 1.5x oversubscribed, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Bloomberg suggested the anchor book’s oversubscription rate had hit 1.8-2x. Among the anchor investors, interested parties included Abu Dhabi-headquartered corporate investment holding firm International Holding Company (IHC), UAE sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, and French international banking group BNP Paribas SA. IHC had reportedly bid for some USD 200 mn worth of shares, while the other anchor investors had placed bids ranging from USD 25-50 mn, Bloomberg’s Wednesday run-down noted. ADIA was allocated 2.56% of the 18.2 mn shares reserved for institutional investors — worth INR 1.53 bn (USD 18.8 mn).

But then shareholder appetite plummeted over the weekend: As retail bidding started on Friday, the issue was only around 1% subscribed, Reuters noted. Investors had bid for some 470k of the 45.5 mn shares on offer, the newswire added. Adani Enterprises’ stock ended the day at INR 2,761 per share — well below the sale’s INR 3,112/share floor price.

So, will the offering continue as planned? We may find out today: The secondary offering remains on track and will continue on schedule at the planned issue price, Adani Group told Reuters on Saturday. This followed reports by unnamed sources that bankers were mulling an extension of the sale by four days or cutting the issue price by as much as 10%. Bidding for anchor and retail investors is set to close tomorrow.

Why is this important? Adani Group has been on a renewables push: Adani Group pledged to invest USD 50-70 bn in the next decade across “the entire green energy value chain,” the Press Trust of India reported (pdf) in October. Adani Green Energy — the renewables branch of Adani Group — raised USD 750 mn in green bond issuances and announced a USD 200 mn JPY-denominated refinancing facility in 2022, the Financial Times noted. Adani New Industries (ANIL) — a utility company focused on renewables projects — is targeting production of 1 mn metric tons of green hydrogen by 2030. TotalEnergies, which holds a 25% stake in ANIL and a 20% stake in Adani Green Energy, is partnering with ANIL to build a green ammonia facility serving the Indian market.

And eyeing green hydrogen production in MENA: Adani Group was said to be exploring the feasibility of hydrogen production in Morocco and Oman in November, having previously indicated it could invest in 10 GW of renewables projects in Morocco to supply green ammonia. The group recently signed an agreement with Australia’s Cavendish Renewable Technology (CRT) for CRT’s electrolyzer technologies, as part of a plan to develop hydrogen tech to meet demands in MENA and India.

But some have accused Adani of raising money under the guise of a renewables push, only to fund polluting businesses. Investing in Adani’s renewables activity ultimately funds the growth of the group’s fossil fuel-based businesses, despite Adani’s claims that the subsidiaries have different mandates, Climate Energy Finance director Tim Buckley is quoted by the FT as saying.

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