The Gurugram office of Deloitte in India is adorned with their logo on June 13, 2023. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/File Photo:.
Adani Ports in India stated on Saturday that Deloitte’s reason for stepping down as the company’S auditor was not convincing or sufficient, and that the global company had all the necessary information to carry out the process.
A source informed Reuters that Deloitte resigned in January due to concerns about certain related party transactions highlighted in a report by Hindenburg, but the Indian company did not want to investigate them independently.
The resignation of the auditor has prompted renewed scrutiny into the financial management of Adani Group, led by Indian billionaire Gautam Adania. The group has denied allegations about Hindenburg’s improper use of tax havens and other business dealings.
Adani Ports’ statement revealed that Deloitte expressed their concern about the absence of a comprehensive audit role during meetings with its leadership, as auditors from other AdANI companies were listed.
Adani Ports was informed to the auditor that it was not within their jurisdiction to suggest such appointments, as other entities were deemed to be “fully independent.”
According to the statement, Gopal Krishna Pillai, Chairman of the Audit Committee of Adani Ports, did not believe that Deloitte’s grounds for resignation as Statutory Auditor were convincing or adequate.
“The conclusion of the client-auditor contract was reached as Deloitte was not willing to continue as auditor, leading to an amicable settlement,” he said.
Despite being asked for comment, Deloitte did not respond immediately. In Adani’s stock exchange announcement on Saturday, the company stated that it was resigning with “immediate effect” as it wasn’t the statutory auditor of many other AdANI Group companies.
The letter from Deloitte conveyed that the company did not require an independent external investigation into certain allegations, which were included in the Hindenburg report.
In May, Deloitte highlighted specific transactions flagged by Hindenburg and provided a limited evaluation of Adani Ports, indicating its concerns.
MSKA & Associates, an independent member firm of BDO International, has been appointed as Adani Ports’ new auditor, according to the announcement.
Following the Hindenburg report, Adani group stocks suffered a loss of roughly $150 billion in market value, but they recovered by approximately $50 billion after repaying debts and gaining the confidence of investors, including GQG Partners, an investment firm with its name on the Australian stock exchange.
This month, Ambuja Cements (ABUJ.NS) of Adani declared its intention to acquire a majority stake in Sanghi Industries for up to $295 million, marking its first major acquisition since the Hindenburg crisis.
Aditya Kalra was the reporter and Ros Russell was responsible for editing in New Delhi.
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