Indian billionaire Gautam Adani has decided against bidding for a stake in state-backed electricity trader PTC India Ltd., people familiar with the matter said, as his business empire looks to preserve cash amid criticism from a US short-seller.
Adani was among the possible bidders reviewing preliminary information on the Mumbai-listed company, Bloomberg News reported in January. The tycoon will not proceed with any offer for the energy trading firm, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
A representative for the Adani Group said the company had not bid for PTC nor contemplated doing so.
State-owned entities NTPC Ltd., NHPC Ltd., Power Grid Corp. of India and Power Finance Corp. have been working with an adviser to weigh selling their stakes of 4% each in PTC India, people familiar with the matter have said. A 16% stake could be valued at around $52 million, based on the latest stock price of PTC. The stock has risen nearly 11% this year, giving the company a market value of about $322 million.
The move comes as Adani Power Ltd. called off its plan to acquire a coal plant project in central India that could have been valued at 70.2 billion rupees ($848 million) in a deal. US short seller Hindenburg Research in late January accused the Adani Group of market manipulation and accounting fraud. While the conglomerate denied all the allegations, the slump in 10 Adani companies that has now wiped more than $130 billion from their combined market value.
The Adani Group has halved its revenue growth target and plans to hold off fresh capital expenditure as part of its efforts to win back the hearts of investors, Bloomberg News has reported.
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PTC, formerly known as Power Trading Corp. of India, was incorporated in 1999 as a public-private partnership and began trading energy in 2001, according to its website. It has the largest market share in the country, and its clients include all of India’s state utilities as well as in some neighboring countries, the website shows.