Indian Billionaire Gautam Adani Scales New Heights To Become The World’s Second-Richest Person

Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani.

AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani surpassed LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault Friday and is now the world’s second-richest person with a net worth of $155.5 billion on Forbes’ Real-Time billionaire rankings, increasing $5.2 billion or 3.49% from yesterday. Arnault, whose fortune is $300 million behind Adani’s at $155.2 billion, slipped to No.3.

Adani has also overtaken Amazon chairman and founder Jeff Bezos whose fortune dropped $2.3 billion or 1.49% to $149.7 billion. Tesla CEO Elon Musk remains the world’s richest person with a net worth of $273.5 billion.

Adani owns stakes in six publicly traded companies that operate in ports, airports, green energy, data centers, and more. Adani became Asia’s richest person in February this year when he overtook fellow Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, whose current net worth of $93.4 places him at No. 8 in the world rankings.

Shares of Adani’s conglomerate Adani Enterprises are surging and hit an all-time high yesterday of 3,749.15 rupees ($46) per share, more than double from a year ago. Shares of of his Adani Power have soared threefold in the past year to 398.4 rupees ($4.9) in response to the rising demand for electricity. Renewable energy firm Adani Green Energy also saw its share nearly doubling in the past year to 2,343.05 rupees ($29.2).

Adani’s appetite for expansion has seen him making bold moves to enter new businesses. The group is in the throes of completing its $10.5 billion acquisition of the Indian arm of Swiss cement manufacturer Holcim Group. In this deal, Adani Group will acquire shares in two listed cement companies-a 63.11% stake in Ambuja Cement and a 54.53% stake in ACC. These transactions, for which open offers were concluded last week, would make Adani India’s second-biggest cement producer.

Last month, Adani’s media unit mounted a hostile bid to acquire New Delhi Television (NDTV), a broadcaster that is seen as being anti-governement. Adani Group’s AMG Media Networks (AMNL) bought Vishvapradhan Commercial for 1.14 billion rupees ($14.3 million), giving it a 29.2% stake in NDTV. Renewable energy is another big play: Adani’s utility firm Adani New Industries has announced it will invest more than $50 billion in developing green energy over the next 10 years.


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