TotalEnergies is reportedly in talks to invest $700m in Adani Green Energy, having previously iced plans with the Indian conglomerate after it suffered a stock market meltdown earlier this year amid fraud allegations.
The French supermajor is in talks to invest in renewable projects developed by Adani Green, Bloomberg reported today (Friday), citing people familiar with the matter.
TotalEnergies had last year set its sights on helping create “the largest green hydrogen ecosystem in the world” by taking a 25% stake in Adani New Industries, the unit leading the H2 plans of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani.
But after the Adani Group sent financial shockwaves around the world when it became the target of claims of “brazen fraud,” TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said it was “good sense to pause things” until the situation became clearer.
Adani Group saw its listed companies plunge in value after a report from a US research group called Hindenburg, which levelled extraordinary claims that the conglomerate had engaged in “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud”.
Adani Group hit back at the claims, which it described as false and designed to underpin profits from short-selling.
A panel appointed by India’s Supreme Court later found “no regulatory failure” on price manipulation in Adani Group stocks, however the case remains ongoing.
Adani Group faced fresh controversy last month when the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a global network of investigative journalists, found that it had used “opaque” funds to bypass rules that prevent share price manipulation.
The group also dismissed those allegations as “meritless”.
Adani Group operates across a wide range of sectors including commodities, airports and utilities. Its CEO Adani is also passionate about renewable energy, in particular green hydrogen, and has made and pledged huge investments in the sector.
Adani Green aims to amass a 45GW renewables portfolio by 2030.
Adani has fought back from the fraud row by pledging his group will build the world’s largest hybrid renewable energy plant at 20GW in record time. This week, his industrial empire claimed a first step to building a range of “made in India” wind turbines as it announced type certification for a new model.