BENGALURU, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Hindenburg Research said it held short positions in India's Adani Group, accusing the conglomerate of improper use of offshore tax havens and flagging concerns about high debt that eroded $11 billion in investor wealth on Wednesday.
The group, which is led by Gautam Adani, the world's third richest person according to Forbes, dismissed the U.S. short-seller's claims as baseless, saying it was timed to damage its reputation ahead of a large share offering.
The group's flagship firm, Adani Enterprises (ADEL.NS), will on Jan. 27 launch the country's biggest public secondary share offering, aiming to raise $2.5 billion to fund capital expenditure and pay off some debt.
Hindenburg, known for having shorted electric truck maker Nikola Corp (NKLA.O) and Twitter, said it holds short positions in Adani companies through U.S.-traded bonds and non-Indian-traded derivative instruments.
Its scathing research report questioned how the Adani Group has used offshore entities in offshore tax havens like Mauritius and the Caribbean Islands, adding that certain offshore funds and shell companies tied to the Adani Group "surreptitiously" own stock in Adani listed firms.