Singapore’s Wilmar to stand by its joint venture with Adani Group

The joint venture, Adani Wilmar, was incorporated in 1999, and is now one of India’s fastest-growing packaged food companies. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR – Singapore-listed Wilmar International will continue to support its joint venture with India’s Adani Group, saying a report from short-seller Hindenburg Research has not raised any issues specific to the unit.

The day-to-day operations of Adani Wilmar are managed by an independent team of professional managers and the board is chaired by an independent director, Wilmar said in response to questions from Bloomberg News.

In running the venture, Wilmar contributes expertise on the commodity and consumer food product businesses, while Adani provides local logistical and regulatory support, the agribusiness giant said on Tuesday.

The sprawling Adani Group, controlled by Indian tycoon Gautam Adani, has been rocked to its core in recent days after Hindenburg accused the conglomerate of widespread corporate malfeasance, including market manipulation and accounting fraud, in a bitter showdown that has riveted investors worldwide.

The allegations have erased more than US$72 billion (S$94.6 billion) in market value of the conglomerate this week despite a lengthy rebuttal from the Adani Group.

“We will continue to support our Indian associate,” said Wilmar, adding that Adani Wilmar, which was recently listed on India’s National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange, had undergone a full initial public offering process under the scrutiny of regulators.

The joint venture was incorporated in 1999, and is now one of India’s fastest-growing packaged food companies, supplying essentials such as edible oil, wheat flour, rice, pulses and sugar.

Despite Wilmar’s supportive comments, shares in Adani Wilmar dropped again on Tuesday, losing ground together with other Adani-linked stocks. Adani Wilmar fell 5 per cent on Tuesday, with losses over the past four sessions nearing 19 per cent.

Wilmar’s response comes as Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Company pledged to invest about US$400 million in a follow-on share sale at Adani Enterprises, voicing confidence in the billionaire’s businesses despite the market turmoil. BLOOMBERG

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