Decoding the five businesses Adani Group plans to list by 2028

So far the group has incubated and listed six highly successful companies, including Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, Adani Power Limited, Adani Transmission Limited, Adani Green Energy Limited, Adani Total Gas Limited, and Adani Wilmar Limited. Photo: Reuters
So far the group has incubated and listed six highly successful companies, including Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, Adani Power Limited, Adani Transmission Limited, Adani Green Energy Limited, Adani Total Gas Limited, and Adani Wilmar Limited. Photo: Reuters

Summary

  • The group’s chief financial officer Jugeshinder Singh recently said it plans to list Adani New Industries, Adani Airport Holdings, AdaniConneX, its metal and mining units, and Adani Road Transport on the stock exchanges between 2026 and 2028.

Adani Enterprises started as a commodity trading business in 1988, specialising in agricultural goods and textiles. By the early 1990s, the company broadened its scope to include the import and export of both raw materials and finished products.

Then, in the late 1990s, the company began diversifying across various sectors such as infrastructure, logistics and energy. A milestone was the establishment of Mundra Port – India's first private port venture – in 1998. Subsequently, the group extended its reach to encompass airport development, road infrastructure, and power generation.

Since 2000, the group has emerged as a prominent figure in India's renewable energy landscape, with a strategic emphasis on solar and wind energy initiatives.

Adani Enterprises portfolio in 2023

Source: Investor presentation
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Source: Investor presentation

Of late it has nurtured a far more diverse portfolio, having strategically invested in sectors that are poised for explosive growth in the coming decade, from green hydrogen to data centres.

This blend of the traditional and new isn't down to the company merely following trends. It has been venturing into complementary businesses that seamlessly integrate into its overall business.

A conglomerate that delivers

The company has a track record of not only fostering new business interests but also nurturing them into significant, self-sustaining entities. The enterprise has successfully spun them off into independently listed and expandable units.

So far it has incubated and listed six highly successful companies, including Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, Adani Power Limited, Adani Transmission Limited, Adani Green Energy Limited, Adani Total Gas Limited, and Adani Wilmar Limited.

The new-age businesses continue to show promise, with sectors such as green hydrogen, airports, data centres and roads poised for rapid expansion.

Recently, the company announced plans for five IPOs. Adani Group's chief financial officer Jugeshinder Singh said that five of its subsidiaries are scheduled to debut on the market between 2026 and 2028. These are Adani New Industries, Adani Airport Holdings, AdaniConneX, the group's metal and mining units, and Adani Road Transport.

Read on to learn more about each of them.

#1 Adani New Industries

There is a growing consensus that green hydrogen could be the fuel of the future. It has emerged as one of the strongest candidates for helping decarbonise sectors that are less dependent on electricity, taking us a step closer to carbon neutrality.

India is planning a massive expansion in the green hydrogen space, aiming to eventually become a large exporter, and is already in talks with the governments of other countries for this.

The demand for green hydrogen use in things like refineries, fertilisers and city gas is set to increase to two million metric tonnes per annum by 2030, in line with India’s green hydrogen mission.

While green hydrogen is still in the nascent stage, it is quickly turning into an investing megatrend, offering a fantastic opportunity for several existing businesses.

Adani Enterprises is one of the newest entrants in the green hydrogen space but is making strong headway. Adani New Industries plans to invest $70 billion ( 5.8 trillion) across the entire green energy value chain, from electrolyser manufacturing to AI-based utility and industrial cloud platforms, and build the world’s largest green hydrogen ecosystem in India.

This huge investment should help Adani become a green hydrogen giant, and make India the cheapest producer of hydrogen.

#2 Adani Airport Holdings

India is projected to become the world’s third-largest commercial aviation market by 2030, surpassing China and the US, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The aviation market, estimated at $13.54 billion in 2024, is projected to touch $23.24 billion by 2029, at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.41%.

The bulk of the growth of Indian aviation has been thanks to homegrown airlines, which have clocked a 36% increase in passengers since 2022.

Foreign tourist arrivals have been rebounding since the pandemic but are still relatively low, barely topping 10 million in a good year (about the same as Romania’s). So low-cost carriers are flying to more countries to accommodate India’s demand for foreign tourism.

No nation in the world has been buying as many aircraft as India, with its largest airlines having ordered nearly 1,000 jets this year. The increase in passengers has led to a growing requirement for large, service-driven airports in place of mere connectivity hubs to metros.

Adani Enterprises has an airport network comprising seven operational brownfields and one under-construction greenfield airport. With a portfolio of eight airports, the company handles more than 23% of passenger traffic in India.

In fiscal year 2023, the company achieved pre-covid level performance. Passenger movement hit 74.8 million during the year across seven operational airports. The construction of its greenfield airport in Navi Mumbai remained ahead of schedule. Looking ahead, Adani Airport Holdings looks to serve more than 300 million consumers through airport infrastructure.

In the last nine months of fiscal year 2024, the company handled 65 million passengers (up 23% yoy), added 19 new routes, nine new airlines, and five new flights.

#3 AdaniConneX

Data centres house the technological infrastructure that stores, processes and manages colossal amounts of data. As technological innovation continues to grow, the demand for data centres will follow suit.

A report published in June 2023 by Colliers, a commercial real estate company, estimated that India’s data centre inventory would double to 20 million square feet by 2025 from the current 10.3 million square feet, driven by increased adoption of smart devices, e-commerce and cloud services.

In 2023, India received investments and pre-commitments in the sector from global hyper-scalers. Indian business houses, including the Adani Group, are also making substantial strides. Presently, Adani Enterprises operates a single data centre, with a total capacity of 17 MW. Flipkart has already decided to set up its third data centre at Adani’s Chennai facility.

The company has five more data centres under construction and aims to establish data centre platforms totalling 1 GW within the next decade.

#4 Adani Road Transport

India boasts the world’s second-largest road network, covering 6.3 million kilometres. This extensive network handles 64.5% of the nation’s goods transportation and serves as the primary mode for 90% of passenger traffic.

The government has upgraded over 35,000 kilometres of highways to four lanes or more since 2023 and has allocated 116 trillion under the National Infrastructure Pipeline for fiscal year 2025.

The roads sector alone is likely to account for 18% of capital expenditure over FY25. Private investments in the highway sector should also rise from around 200 billion a year at present to nearly 1 trillion in the next six to seven years.

New construction in tandem with regular maintenance and repairs is vital for ensuring the long-term durability of India's road infrastructure. This offers companies a great opportunity, and Adani Group strives to be at the forefront.

The company provides transport and utility infrastructure construction services, mainly focussing on large-scale infrastructure development. It is currently building national highways, expressways, tunnels, metro-rail, and railways.

Adani’s road construction portfolio grew by 273% sequentially but fell 6% yoy in the first nine months of FY24. The company completed several projects and secured the 464-km Ganga Expressway Project in Uttar Pradesh, demonstrating its ability to win large contracts.

#5 Metal and mining units

The Adani Group is aggressively expanding its presence in the minerals and metals sector. It has already entered the copper market through its Kutch Copper unit, which generates 4-5% of the group's revenue.

With plans to invest 575.8 billion on an alumina refinery in Odisha, the group aims to further strengthen its position. It aims to finance ventures in aluminium, copper, and mining services, facilitated by its metals and mining units.

Additionally, it plans to establish an iron ore project with a capacity of 30 million tons per annum as part of its iron ore value addition initiative.

Decoding the growth & debt equation

The company reports its revenues and operating profit under two primary segments – new and incubating.

Incubating business comprises the energy & utility and the transport and logistics sectors such as data centres, renewable energy (including green hydrogen), roads and airports. Established businesses include primary industries such as the IRM, commercial mining, and mining services.

Adani Enterprises: Financial snapshot

Source: Investor presentation
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Source: Investor presentation

While total revenue was down 27%, operating profit was up 58%. Notably, in the last nine months of FY24, the growth of incubating businesses surpassed that of established businesses. A large part of this growth came from the renewable energy, data centre, airports and roads businesses. The established business suffered on the back of low volume and a correction in coal prices.

While 2023 brought a narrative of volatility, uncertainty and resilience with Adani Group stocks, thanks to the Hindenburg report, it seems like all that is behind it now.

The Supreme Court cleared Adani Group of allegations of manipulating stock prices, boosting investor confidence and enabling the company to access funding from private banks and sovereign funds. Now, according to reports, it plans to raise funds externally to fund its expansion as its leveraged balance sheet could be the only roadblock to its ambitious plans.

Over the years, the conglomerate’s constant expansion has led to increased borrowings. As of the first half of FY24, its debt-to-equity ratio stood at 0.62x. The interest coverage ratio and net debt to Ebitda were also relatively low at 2.95x and 2.7x, respectively.

The conglomerate now plans to fund a fifth of its $70 bn investment from internal accruals and the rest through a mix of foreign direct investments, loans and bonds.

It aims to raise funds through a public offering, a preferential allotment, including a qualified institutions placement (QIP), or other eligible securities issuance, with reports suggesting a share offering valued at least $1.8 billion.

Conclusion

Adani Enterprises is a diversified conglomerate that’s strategically positioned for growth.

Its foray into green hydrogen, airports, data centres and roads aligns with India's booming infrastructure and digital-transformation needs. While financial health remains a concern, the company's proven track record and recent exoneration inspire confidence.

However, investors must carefully assess the debt burden and potential risks before making investment decisions.

Adani's ambitious expansion plans hinge on successful execution and navigating a competitive landscape. Its strategic direction positions it to capitalise on megatrends and potentially become a key player in shaping India's infrastructure and digital landscape.

Disclaimer:This article is for information purposes only. It is not a stock recommendation and should not be treated as such.

This article is syndicated from Equitymaster.com

 

 

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