According to persons with knowledge of the situation, the billionaire Gautam Adani’s ports business auditor plans to leave his position. This might raise questions about the Indian conglomerate’s accounting practices, which Hindenburg Research, a short seller, has named as a target.
One of the persons said, requesting anonymity because the conversation involved a sensitive subject, that Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP had informed Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. of its plans to quit and that a formal statement is anticipated in the coming days.
In May, the Indian division of the multinational accounting powerhouse expressed alarm over transactions between Adani Ports and three, according to Adani, unrelated companies. The auditor claimed at the time that it was unable to independently verify Adani’s assertions and assess if the company was fully in compliance with local legislation.
Just days before the Securities and Exchange Board of India is about to deliver the findings of an investigation into Hindenburg’s extensive charges of accounting fraud and market manipulation, the anticipated retirement casts new light on governance of Adani’s empire. Adani has categorically denied any wrongdoing, and a commission assembled by the Supreme Court of India of India found no evidence of regulatory failure or stock price manipulation.
Deloitte Haskins & Sells may be replaced by BDO India LLP’s audit division MSKA & Associates, according to one of the sources.
At the current stage both Adani Ports and Deloitte had declined over any official comment.