Feb 1, 2023
Adani Stock Sale Scrapes Through With Less Demand Than Peers
(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Gautam Adani’s flagship company successfully pulled off India’s biggest ever follow-on share sale despite a damning short-seller report. Still, demand was far below that achieved by some of its peers in recent years.
The $2.5 billion offering of Adani Enterprises Ltd. crept over the line Tuesday with overall bids for 1.12 times the amount of shares available, according to data from local exchanges. That’s less than six out of seven jumbo-sized sales analyzed by Bloomberg, one of which gained a ratio of more than 14 times.
Institutional investors and wealthy individuals both subscribed for more shares than the amount reserved for them at the time books closed. Demand from retail investors on the other hand was only about 10% of their allotment, dashing Adani’s aim to draw in “every household of rural India” by providing them with an extra discount.
The tepid overall result to the follow-on public offering suggests the criticisms made by Hindenburg Research may have deterred at least some potential investors. The US-based short seller in a report published last week accused the group of market manipulation and fraud conducted through a web of family controlled offshore entities.
Read: Who Is Adani and What Are Hindenburg’s Allegations?: QuickTake
“Given the renewed selling in the shares post FPO, markets are clearly looking for greater clarity on the allegations,” said Nitin Chanduka, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in Singapore. “Few funds expectedly comprised a large portion of the follow-on issue, which suggests a risk of liquidation in case share prices spiral downwards.”
The majority of previous follow-on share sales have been far more successful, according to the Bloomberg analysis of seven offerings which raised more than $1 billion starting in 2007.
Read More: Indian Tycoons Bought Adani Shares Amid Short Seller Fight
Power Grid Corp. of India received demand for 14.5 times the amount of shares in a FPO held in 2010, raising a total of $1.6 billion. A $2.1 billion sale conducted by ICICI Bank Ltd. in 2007 gained bids for more than 11 times the amount available.
The only deal in the analysis that was undersubscribed was that held by Yes Bank Ltd. in 2020. The troubled lender fell short of its target of raising $2 billion amid concern over a surge in bad loans, receiving 93% demand for the shares on offer, according to stock exchange data.
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