On Tuesday, Beleaguered Adani Group said it had repaid Rs 7,374 crore (more than $900 million) share-based financing. It will repay all remaining debt by month-end as it looks to address concerns over leverage and debt to win over investors.
The repayment will release the pledge on the promoters’ shares in the four group companies, the company said in a statement, adding that together with the earlier repayment, the group had prepaid $2.016 billion in shares Support financing.
In September, Fitch Group’s CreditSights said the group was “significantly overleveraged” as it used debt to expand an empire centred on ports and coal mining, including airports, data centres and cement, and green energy.
A month after Hindenburg’s damning report wiped $135 billion off the market value of listed companies, the Adani group hopes to reverse that narrative by opting for slow and steady growth over the rapid expansion primarily fueled by debt in recent years. It has cancelled a Rs 7,000 crore acquisition of coal-fired power plants, decided not to bid for a stake in state-owned energy trading company PTC, reined in spending, paid down some debt and promised to pay more. “The promoters continue to commit to reducing the overall leverage of the promoters backed by shares of Adani listed companies. We wish to inform you that we have prepaid Rs 7,374 crore equity-backed financing before the latest maturity date of April 2025,” the statement said.”
Promoters of the group’s flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd will release as many as 31 million shares or 4%, while in Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), promoters will release 155 million shares or 11.8%.
In the case of Adani Transmission Ltd, more than 36 million shares pledged will be released, representing 4.5% of the promoters’ stake. Similarly, Adani Green Energy Ltd has pledged to release more than 11 million shares or 1.2% of the promoters’ stake.
“In addition to the early February repayments, Adani has prepaid equity-backed financing of $2.016 billion, in line with the sponsor’s commitment to prepay all equity-backed financing by 31 March 2023”, it said.
Adani Group’s total debt has doubled in the past four years. It has nearly $2 billion in foreign currency bonds to be repaid in 2024.
Between July 2015 and 2022, the group borrowed more than $10 billion in foreign currency bonds between group companies. Of this, $1.15 billion in bonds will mature in 2020 and 2022.
The group’s total debt has risen from Rs 1.11 lakh crore in 2019 to Rs 2.21 lakh crore in 2023, according to a presentation to investors last month. Including cash, net debt in 2023 is Rs 1.89 lakh crore.