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Who’s Gautam Adani, accused of ‘largest con’ by Hindenburg Research?

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Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest man, abruptly found himself at the middle of a firestorm on Wednesday after distinguished short-seller Hindenburg Research alleged his India-based business empire was built through fraud.

Adani, 60, experienced an increase in personal wealth last 12 months at the same time as the worldwide economy suffered a period of slowing growth.

He’s chairman of Adani Group, a sprawling $21 billion conglomerate that owns lots of India’s airports, the nation’s largest private-sector port, the media giant Recent Delhi Television and lots of other holdings.

A school dropout, Adani began his profession within the diamond industry before joining a plastics factory run by his brother, in line with the Financial Times.

Eventually, Adani formed his own company, which began as an import-export operation within the commodities sector and step by step expanded to other initiatives.

A bio on Adani Group’s website describes its namesake founder as a “first-generation entrepreneur” who is concentrated on “nation-building” through infrastructure development. He’s married and has two sons, Karan and Jeet.

Adani with Boris Johnson in 2021.Twitter/ Gautam Adani

“For Mr. Adani, nation-building means transforming India’s coastline by constructing a string of ports and logistics hubs,” the bio reads. “For him, nation-building also means strengthening the country’s energy security and mitigating the urban-rural divide by delivering electricity to several tons of of thousands and thousands living within the hinterlands of India.”

Except for his high-profile business profession, Adani also survived the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, in addition to a kidnapping and ransom attempt in 1998, in line with the BBC and other outlets.

Adani has faced his justifiable share of criticism during an increase to international wealth and prominence. Critics have scrutinized his close relationship with and support of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The industrialist is so well-connected in India’s political circles that he has been known as “Modi’s Rockefeller.”

Gautam AdaniGautam Adani and his wife.The India Today Group via Getty

Adani was an early booster of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party. In 2014, Modi reportedly flew to the capital city of Recent Delhi on Adani’s private jet to take over as prime minister.

His wealth ballooned since Modi took power, rising from roughly $5 billion in 2014 to a whopping $121 billion at the top of 2022, in line with Bloomberg.

During that period, Adani Group has landed various government contracts and infrastructure projects, in line with the Financial Times.

Gautam AdaniGautam Adani has two children.Instagram/Guatam Adani

“Modi will not be directly helping any individual, that I can let you know,” Adani told the Financial Times in 2013. “Modi helps industries through policy, and never allowing any nonsense into the system.”

Adani’s net value skyrocketed by $44 billion last 12 months — greater than some other individual tracked by Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index — as he jetted past the likes of Amazon executive chairman Jeff Bezos and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett.

However the Adani Group’s empire faced unprecedented scrutiny after Hindenburg – an influential firm that previously targeted the electrical vehicle firms Nikola and Lordstown Motors – claimed to have “uncovered evidence of brazen accounting fraud, stock manipulation and money laundering at Adani, happening over the course of many years.”

Gautam AdaniGautam Adani is the world’s fourth-richest person.AP

“Adani has pulled off this gargantuan feat with the assistance of enablers in government and a cottage industry of international corporations that facilitate these activities,” Hindenburg said in a lengthy client note on its findings.

Hindenburg noted that Adani Group has faced a minimum of “4 major government fraud investigations” and noted that “8 of twenty-two key leaders are Adani relations.”

Adani-controlled stocks lost the equivalent of roughly $12 billion in value after Hindenburg’s allegations surfaced.

Gautam AdaniAdani Group has denied Hindenburg’s allegations.REUTERS

After Hindenburg’s damning report, Forbes estimated Adani to be the world’s fourth-richest person, with a net value of $119.1 billion, trailing billionaires Bernard Arnault, Elon Musk and Bezos. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index also placed Adani because the fourth-wealthiest person and his wealth at $119 billion.

Adani Group denied the allegations in an announcement from its CFO, Jugeshinder Singh.

“We’re shocked that Hindenburg Research has published a report on 24 January 2023 without making any try to contact us or confirm the factual matrix,” Singh said. “The report is a malicious combination of selective misinformation and rancid, baseless and discredited allegations which were tested and rejected by India’s highest courts.”

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