Gautam Adani’s flagship will offer large investors discounts of as much as 10% in India’s biggest follow-on share sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as the billionaire tries to woo a wider set of backers.
Concessions to retail purchasers could be steeper, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private. Adani Enterprises Ltd. is seeking to raise 200 billion rupees ($2.5 billion) by selling shares in a business that has almost doubled in market value over the past year.
Roughly half the money will go toward expanding Adani’s airport and renewable energy projects, while some 42 billion rupees — a little less than a quarter of the amount raised — will be used to pare debt, the company said in its prospectus filed Wednesday. Anchor investors can bid Jan. 25 and the rest Jan. 27-31.
In a rare move for a follow-on sale, Asia’s richest man will allow retail investors to pay for their purchases in tranches. This could mean a 50% upfront payment, followed by two installments of 25% each, one of the people said. An email sent to Adani Enterprises’ representative Wednesday wasn’t immediately answered.
The massive share sale would help Adani meet multiple goals. Broadening his investor base would fend off allegations that his empire comprises mainly thinly traded stocks; repaying debt addresses concerns about overleverage; and winning over mom-and-pop investors would cement Adani’s legacy as a wealth creator in a nation with widening income inequality.
Adani Enterprises’ shares have surged 95% over the past year to 3,596.7 rupees. The stock is trading at a valuation of over 141 times its one-year forward earnings. By comparison, Reliance Industries Ltd. — India’s largest firm by market value — is at about 20 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“We have done strategic capital. The next capital is patient capital,” Chief Financial Officer Jugeshinder Singh had said in an interview in November. “Indian mom and pop investors invest for their children and grand children.”