Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s business empire plans to raise nearly $2.5 billion in a new equity offering as it pushes to expand into new areas.
Adani Enterprises, the Adani Group’s flagship company, said in a filing on Friday that its board had agreed to raise 200 billion rupees ($2.45 billion) by issuing new shares. It would be India’s largest ever follow-on public equity offering, Reuters reports.
Adani, Asia’s richest man, has rapidly expanded his business portfolio since the start of the pandemic, acquiring companies in areas ranging from cement works to airports.
“Adani needs capital at the holding company level. It is the flagship company. They need money for a lot of the new initiatives they are launching, acquisitions and new projects,” Reuters said, citing a source familiar with the capital raise.
Adani, a college dropout, briefly became the second richest man in the world in September, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, overtaking Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. His fortune has grown by $51 billion so far this year, according to the index.
Shares of Adani’s seven listed companies – in sectors ranging from ports to power plants – jumped 10% to 260% in the first 10 months of the year.
But the conglomerate’s huge growth has been fueled by a $30 billion borrowing spree, making it one of the most indebted companies in the country, raising concerns among analysts.
Shareholders will be asked to approve the new share issue by mail-in vote, Adani Enterprises said in Friday’s filing.