On June 16, Adani Digital Labs Private Limited signed a share purchase agreement and announced that it has acquired a 100% stake in Stark Enterprises Private Limited (“SEPL”), also known as Trainman. Trainman is a train ticket booking application and a partner of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Why it matters: With this purchase, the Adani group has made its way into the railway bookings space. It is worth noting that earlier this year, the Adani Group was backing out of multiple acquisitions, including power plants, a retail firm, a power trader, and road projects. This, according to a report by the Business Standard, was because of a focus to conserve cash prepay debt rather than acquiring new assets. This new acquisition (although the exact amount is unclear) reveals that the company is in better financial health than it was at the beginning of the year when news broke about Adani Group having substantial debt and inflated stock prices. Inaccurate coverage of the acquisition: When the news first broke, news portals were reporting on the acquisition, saying that this would make Adani Group a competitor of the IRCTC. To address the situation, on June 18, the IRCTC released a clarification saying that around 14.5 lakh tickets are booked daily in Indian Railways - out of which 81% are e-tickets booked through IRCTC. It further clarified that Trainman is one of its 32 business-to-consumer (B2C) partners and only contributes 0.13% of total reserved ticketing and that a change in ownership will not affect…
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