Gautam Adani is richest Asian and busiest dealmaker with a $17 billion spree

After years of focusing on coal and infrastructure-related plays, Adani is branching out
Last Updated 17 May 2022, 06:23 IST

By P R Sanjai,

Gautam Adani became the richest person in Asia this year. Now, a vast empire-building exercise is making him one of the region’s busiest dealmakers.

A $10.5 billion pact announced Sunday to buy the Indian operations of Swiss building-materials firm Holcim Ltd., capped a run of some 32 acquisitions for Adani the past year, valued at about $17 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

The tycoon’s conglomerate, the Adani Group, didn’t disclose the transaction value in many of the smaller deals, implying the total amount could be even larger. After years of focusing on coal and infrastructure-related plays, Adani is branching out in line with his growing fortune, buying up a range of assets from a premium rice brand and travel portal to a green energy firm from Softbank Group Corp.

A first-generation entrepreneur whose net worth currently sits at $102 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Adani has rapidly diversified into new areas like data centres, digital services, cement and media. After acquiring one of the most controversial coal mining projects in Australia, Adani is making a firm pivot toward sustainable energy long term.

These are some of the Adani Group’s key deals the past year:





Adani Group ACC, Ambuja Cement $10.5 Billion
Adani Enterprises Quintillion Media Media NA
Adani Wilmar Kohinoor Basmati Rice Brand Food NA
Adani Ports Ocean Sparkle Marine $218 Million
Adani Enterprises Cleartrip Travel NA
Adani Enterprises Sadbhav Infra Road $215 Million
Adani Green Energy SB Energy Renewables $3.5 Billion
Adani Green Energy Sterling & Wilson Renewables $57 Million
Adani Green Energy SkyPower Global Renewables NA
Adani Ports Gangavaram Port Marine $463 Million
Adani Ports West Container Terminal, Sri Lanka Marine NA
Adani Ports Gangavaram Port Marine $251 Million
Adani Ports Dighi Port Marine NA
Adani Transmission Warora-Kurnool Transmission Transmission $433 Million

Adani Sportsline
UAE T20 Cricket team Sports NA

Adani is “a sharp and ambitious tycoon who wants to have a finger in nearly every pie,” said Arun Kejriwal, founder at KRIS, an investment advisory firm in Mumbai.

The 59-year-old businessman has now built the financial muscle needed to pull off a flurry of deals, Kejriwal said. “He is capable of getting financial support from sovereign funds and can resort to leveraged buyouts.”

Adani Group firms received almost $2 billion from the Abu Dhabi-based International Holding Company PJSC in April, while global giants TotalEnergies SE and Warburg Pincus LLC invested in Adani’s companies last year.

The tycoon is also said to be scouting for targets among local media firms and is exploring partnerships with Saudi Aramco, Bloomberg reported earlier. A pact with South Korea’s Posco was announced in January for a green steel mill.

“There is nothing slow about Adani,” Kejriwal said. “Everything is like a rapid fire.”

(Published 17 May 2022, 05:40 IST)

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