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Headwinds that tested us became very ones that made us even stronger: Gautam Adani

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Ahmedabad, June 24 (IANS) The headwinds that tested us became the very ones that made us even stronger, Gautam Adani, the Chairman of the Adani Group, told shareholders on Monday, stressing that no challenge could weaken the foundations of the Group.

Addressing the Adani Enterprises' Annual General Meeting (AGM), Gautam Adani said that they were faced with baseless accusations made by a foreign short seller who questioned their decades of hard work.

"In the face of an unprecedented attack on our integrity and reputation, we fought back and proved that no challenge could weaken the foundations on which your Group has been established," the Adani Group Chairman said.

Typical short sellers target gains from financial markets, but this (attack) was different.

"It was a two-sided attack - a vague criticism of our financial standing and, at the same time, an information distortion campaign, dragging us into a political battlefield. The attack was a calculated strike two days before the closing of our Follow-on Public Offer," said Gautam Adani.

Amplified by a segment of vested media, it was designed to defame us, do maximum damage and erode our hard-earned market value.

"Given the noise, despite successfully raising Rs 20,000 crore through India's largest-ever FPO, we made the extraordinary decision to return the proceeds. This underscored our dedication to our investors and our commitment to ethical business practices," Gautam Adani told shareholders.

It is this perseverance that has "allowed us to become one of the most admired companies in the country. And our perseverance was never more evident than that we demonstrated this past year", Gautam Adani, said.

To further augment the cash reserves, the Group raised an additional Rs 40,000 crore, comfortably covering the next two years of its debt repayment.

"This decisive action is a testimony to the great strength of your company. It restored market confidence – and we safeguarded our portfolio against any volatility by pre-paying Rs 17,500 crore in margin-linked financing," Gautam Adani emphasised.

Furthermore, despite never having faced any challenges with debt repayments, "we chose to drop our Debt to EBITDA ratio to 2.5x in just six months".

"It now stands even lower at 2.2x. This approach has not only strengthened our financial resilience but has also increased our headroom for future expansion," said Gautam Adani.

"Our stand against the attack was further vindicated when the Supreme Court of India affirmed our actions. In addition, our commitment to operational excellence and transparent disclosures was validated not only by rating agencies and the well-informed financial community but also by respected global investors like GQG Partners, TotalEnergies, IHC, QIA and the US Development Finance Corporation – all of whom chose to invest in us," Gautam Adani told shareholders.

"The headwinds that tested us became the very ones that made us even stronger," said the Adani Group Chairman.

--IANS

na/svn


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