Indian conglomerate ani Group on Thursday said it is mulling legal action against Hindenburg Research, as its listed companies were hit by a market selloff Wednesday after the U.S.-based activist investment firm disclosed short positions against the group’s companies and accused the firm’s founders of engaging in stock manipulation and fraud.
In an emailed statement, ani Group Legal Head Jatin Jalundhwala said the company was “evaluating the relevant provisions” under both U.S. and Indian laws for “remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research.”
In the statement, ani Group again slammed Hindenburg Research’s report, calling it “maliciously mischievous [and]
unresearched” and adding that it had adversely affected the company, its shareholders and investors.
The statement blamed Hindenburg’s report for creating volatility in the Indian stock markets, claiming it “has led to unwanted anguish for Indian citizens.”
Labeling Hindenburg as a “foreign entity,” the statement accuses the investment firm of trying to mislead the public and sabotage its flagship firm ani Enterprises’ follow-on public offering, set for Friday.
All seven of the group’s listed companies carrying the ani moniker and recent acquisitions NDTV, Ambuja Cement and ACC ended Wednesday in the red.
Stock markets in India remained closed on Thursday as the country celebrated its 74th Republic Day.
According to our estimates, ani Group founder Gautam ani’s net worth stands at $119.1 billion as of Thursday, down more than $6.5 billion in the past 24 hours. On Wednesday, ani ceded the number three spot on the world’s richest list to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, due to the sharp drop in his companies’ stocks.
$12 billion. That is the cumulative market value lost by ani Group’s listed companies in Wednesday’s stock market selloff.
Hindenburg Research disclosed a short position against ani Group’s listed companies in a report published Tuesday evening, while accusing the company of engaging in “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades.” The report made a series of scathing accusations, including the alleged use of offshore shell companies for “stock manipulation” and “laundering money” through ani Group’s private companies, onto the books of listed firms “in order to maintain the appearance of financial health and solvency.” ani Group has vehemently denied the accusations as “a malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India’s highest courts.”
ani Group Shares Slide After Hindenburg Alleges ‘Largest Con In Corporate History’ (Forbes)
Jeff Bezos Surpasses Billionaire Gautam ani As World’s Third-Richest Person After Short Seller’s Scathing Report (Forbes)
Hindenburg vs ani: The Short Seller Taking on Asia’s Richest Person (Bloomberg)