Gautam Adani buys Holcim Indian business. Who is that man?


Indian billionaire Gautam Adani takes over the Indian business of the Swiss cement group Holcim. He pays $ 10.5 billion for it. Adani is a tycoon who no longer exists in the West. He benefits from an old friend.

Handshake after sales: Gautam Adani (right) with Holcim boss Jan Jenisch.

Handshake after sales: Gautam Adani (right) with Holcim boss Jan Jenisch.

Frank Schwarzbach

Along with the press release was a photo: Holcim CEO Jan Jenisch shakes Gautam Adani’s hand, with the Swiss and Indian flags on the table. Holcim announced over the weekend that it was selling its cement business in India to the Adani Group: both 63 per cent and Mumbai-listed Ambuja Cements and 4.5 per cent. ACC shares. In total, Holzim will receive 6.4 billion Swiss francs from Adani.

Gautama Adani, the man in the picture, the man with the side and the small mustache, may also be an Indian official. One of the best Indian men who walks through the corridors of the administration building drinking tea and eventually turns into an office the size of a pigeon. Adani is nothing spectacular. He may also be one of those top-aged men in Delhi who placed a plastic chair on a patch of an English lawn early in the morning and read a newspaper. Adani, 59, is one of the most influential men in India and one of the richest men in the world.

In just a year, Adani almost doubled his wealth. According to it Bloomberg Billionaire Index it now totals $ 120 billion, making it in fifth place, surpassing only Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault and Bill Gates. His Adani Group is a conglomerate that has grown so large in India that it covers almost all areas of life: electricity, food, airports – Adani Group set. according to the annual report 5.26 billion USD in the previous fiscal year. With the Holcim deal, Adani will instantly become the second largest cement producer in India.

Port as a base

Adani is a homemade billionaire. Hailing from the state of Gujarat, he once stopped studying in Mumbai to get involved in the diamond trade. He later returned home and in 1988 formed the band Adani in the capital of Gujarat. He laid the groundwork for his incredible rise in the 1990s when he secured the port of Mundra on the coast of Gujarat. He cleverly navigated the Indian bureaucracy, buying more and more land around the port. Today, Mundra is a special trade area. This means: There are no duties in Mundra.

Adani himself said in 2011 “New York Time”, its rise was driven by opportunities: first a port emerged that led it to the energy sector, India’s coal hunger led it to other countries. This is one of the few conversations with Adani, the billionaire is considered a media shy.

In the 1990s, India began to open up, the upswing required electricity, and coal mining in India faced many obstacles. So Adani bought a coal mine in Indonesia – he owned a port. Today, Adani Group operates, among other places, other mines in Australia. Realizing that India’s sick infrastructure was not suitable for coal transfer, Adani built his own railway line. All this earned Adani a reputation as an executor as the creator of the new India.

But Adani is also a prototype of a businessman who no longer exists in the West: a tycoon. Adani owns not only a coal mine, but also a transport ship, a port, a freight train, a power plant. It not only produces food but also supplies the refrigeration chain. He actually controls prices. to “Financial times” once compared Adani to John D. Rockefeller. Because, like Rockefeller, Adani is also well-connected politically.

Modi’s friend

Adani’s rise is closely linked to India’s most powerful man today: Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 2003 Modi was the Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat. The business elite turned their backs on him, Gujarat had just been shocked by Hindu and Muslim unrest, and Modi had at least not prevented an escalation of violence. More than 1,000 people were killed, most of them Muslims. Modi was a persona non grata, he was no longer allowed to enter the United States.

But Adani was standing next to him. The fate of the two men was linked to this. Modi rose, he became famous as a pro-business politician. Adani grew up with him. 2014 India has elected Modi as prime minister …

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