Gautam Adani is bent on calming the nerves of investors and lenders following the bombshell dropped by US-based Hindenburg Research, accusing the Indian billionaire of stock manipulation and accounting fraud, among others. The report sliced $135 billion off Adani’s market value, even after The Adani Group vehemently denied the allegations.
Already, Adani is in full damage control mode and has reportedly hired the best crisis communication and legal teams in the United States. The firm Kekst CNC has allegedly been approached to handle the blowout. The billionaire also pulled out of a coal plant purchase worth $850 million, made debt repayments, and promised to cut expenses. Moreover, efforts are being made to assure bondholders that the report is false and that the group is a responsible borrower. They have launched several meetings to calm down bondholders tapped to provide over $8 billion in funding.
Regaining investor trust
The biggest challenge Adani faces is how to regain investor trust, something Kekst has taken on to deliver. The communications firm is collaborating with Adani’s communication team to make this happen, letting the latter go into a “situation room,” a simulated crisis where executives and top honchos are barraged with tweets and questions about the issue.
Adani has also reportedly hired Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz to handle claims of short selling. It is one of the most expensive law firms with an extensive record of defending companies from shareholder activists.
While Adani has mapped a concrete playbook to turn the narrative in his favor, investors say lingering questions remain. Analysts suggest that the company hiring a top-tier global auditor is a positive move the firm can take, but much more needs to be done.