Food Giant Wilmar Vows to Stand By Its Venture With Adani Group

(Bloomberg) — Food giant Wilmar International Ltd. will continue to support its joint venture with India’s under-fire Adani Group, saying a report from short-seller Hindenburg Research had not raised any issues specific to the unit.

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The day-to-day operations of Adani Wilmar Ltd. are managed by an independent team of professional managers and the board is chaired by an independent director, Singapore-based Wilmar said in an emailed response to questions from Bloomberg News. In running the venture, Wilmar contributes expertise on the commodity and consumer-food-products businesses, while Adani provides local logistical and regulatory support, the company said on Tuesday.

The sprawling Adani Group, controlled by tycoon Gautam Adani, has been rocked to its core in recent days after Hindenburg Research accused the conglomerate of widespread corporate malfeasance, including market manipulation and accounting fraud. In a bitter showdown that riveted investors worldwide, the allegations have prompted steep falls in the companies’ share prices despite a lengthy rebuttal from the Adani Group.

“We will continue to support our Indian associates,” Wilmar said, 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.

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

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