Even in the mayhem mayhem The Ken The domino effect of Adani stocks’ US$51B meltdown Read more unleashed by US short-seller Hindenburg Research’s damning report on the Adani Group, one must spare a thought for the shareholders of Adani Total Gas Ltd.

Out of the ten listed Adani companies, the city-gas distributor is the one that has seen its shares decline by the daily price limit every day since 27 January.

This should particularly worry billionaire Gautam Adani, founder and chairman of the group. The company is at the centre of the Adani Group’s wide-ranging relationship with French energy giant TotalEnergies SE—the largest strategic investor in the ports-to-media conglomerate. Since 2019, TotalEnergies has owned over 37% of the company—the same as the Adani Group’s holding.

TotalEnergies’ association with the group may have begun a year earlier through a joint venture (JV)—Adani Total Pvt. Ltd—with a unit of port operator Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and fuel stations. But it’s TotalEnergies’ Rs 5,700 crore (~$690 million) investment in what was then called Adani Gas Ltd that paved the way for TotalEnergies’ acquisition of a 20% stake in clean-power producer Adani Green Energy Ltd and a 50% stake in a portfolio of the latter’s operational solar-energy projects.

The Adani Gas-TotalEnergies deal also set the template for bringing in other global strategic investors—a key enabler of the group’s capital-heavy expansion. In 2022, Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Company invested Rs 15,400 crore (~$1.9 billion) in Adani Green, group flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd, and power-transmission company Adani Transmission Ltd.

In April 2021, when The Ken first pointed pointed The Ken Hype in the Adani Total Gas pipe Read more out the peculiar foreign-investor shareholding in Adani stocks and the low effective public shareholding that underpinned their massive rallies on the bourses, we asked, “Could it be a case of ‘the higher they go, the harder they fall’?”

This is playing out now, particularly in Adani Total Gas. Its shares are down ~75% since the Hindenburg report Hindenburg report Hindenburg Research Adani Group: How The World’s 3rd Richest Man Is Pulling The Largest Con In Corporate History Read more was published on 24 January—more than any other Adani stock. Adani Total Gas’s current market capitalisation—Rs 1,12,470 crore (~$13.6 billion)—is less than one-third of what the company was worth less than a month ago when it touched an all-time high.