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Can Thornton bell the big cat “Adani” in distress

Following the release of the Hindenburg report on Adani Group on 24th January 2023, nothing seems to go right for the business tycoon and Indian conglomerate Gautam Adani. Ever since the report's debut, the Stock prices of Adani’s firm have been nose-diving, with all his wealth drowning.

Can Thornton bell the big cat “Adani” in distress

Once the wealthiest man in Asia and the third richest in the world, he has now been overthrown to 24th rank during article drafting. And if we peek at the personal wealth of this Indian mogul, it is estimated that his assets have contracted from their peak of 150 Billion USD in September last year to just close to 52 Billion USD now. Moreover, the seven subsidiaries of the Adani group have collectively lost over 120 billion dollars in the last three weeks.

Although Adani has strongly declined all the accusations, the investors are still timid in confiding in the big bull- Adani.

Hence, to win investors’ trust back, Gautam Adani Booked Grant Thornton- a US-based Tier-1 accounting firm- will conduct independent audits for Adani Group. Although the group publicly announced the alliance, unnamed sources broke out the news in Routers. However, facing enormous pressure from the country's regulating bodies, the alliance's announcement was made public on Monday.

Hindenburg Research, in its report, has upbraided Adani Group of stock manipulation, accounting irregularities and using off-shore entities in tax havens. To clear the name of these indictments, Adani is putting his faith in Grant Throton, which is expected to bell the big cat “Adani”. However, before delving into the expectations from this accounting firm, let us quickly glance at the company's profile.

Grant Thornton LLC is the seventh-largest accounting firm in the world and the sixth-largest in the United States. In addition, it boasts of its Tier-1 ranking among the highest revenue-generating accounting firms in the world, with net revenue of over 6.6 Billion USD. The ranking represents some of the most prestigious and premium accounting firms worldwide.

Found in 1924, this US-based company is among some of the oldest accounting firms in the world after the Big four- a nickname for four of the largest accounting firms in the United States. With close to 100 years of expertise, Grant Thornton has established itself as a trusted advisor to businesses of all sizes and across various industries.

And, betting on the years of its expertise, Adani has hired the firm to restore the public's faith and investors.

What is expected of Grant Thornton?

The accounting firm is expected to conduct independent audits and look into the financial imbalances and third-party transactions pinned out in Hindenburg’s report. After probing, the company is also expected to confirm whether party-related transactions align with government standards.

In the Hindenburg report, mentions of “undisclosed transactions” can be found, which goes against the disclosure laws of the Indian Government.

The last resort?

In the wake of distress, Adani Group is trying everything in its power to restore the faith of its investors. Be it reassuring the investors via a strong liquidity position or the repayment of 1.1 Billion dollar loans, be it hiring top US law firm “Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz” or appointing one of the top accounting firms in the world for an independent audit of the accounting imbalances, Adani is frantically knocking on every door in the hopes that the going on the other side of one of these doors would resurrect the faith of its investors. And this seems to be the last resort for this big cat.

Can Thornton bell the big cat?

The case of Adani Vs Hindenburg report has now reached the supreme court of India, which has directed the Union home ministry and SEBI to file an FIR against the company Hindenburg research and its CEO, Nathan Anderson, to delve into the factuality of the report.  

Since Adani is determined to polish his stained image, we can only hope that the unique insights brought forward by Thorton might be able to bell the cat in time.

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