The 63-year-old Indian business tycoon released an official statement on Friday confirming that he has “fulfilled his promise” of relieving his company Reliance of its net debts in recent months. Ambani also revealed his goal for the next five years, which is for Reliance to have “one of the strongest balance sheets in the world".
“I have fulfilled my promise to the shareholders by making Reliance net debt-free much before our original schedule of 31st March 2021. We have received strong interest from strategic and financial investors in our consumer businesses, Jio and Reliance Retail. We will induct leading global partners in these businesses in the next few quarters, and move towards listing of both these companies within the next five years. With these initiatives, I have no doubt that our company will have one of the strongest balance sheets in the world", the multi-billionaire said in a statement.
In August 2019, Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) emerged as the country’s most valued company, with a market capitalisation of INR 8,19,073 crore, rounding up to somewhere between $90 billion-$108 billion roughly.
RIL had a major goal of clearing debts of INR 161,035 crores ($21 billion) before 31 March 2021. Between May and June, Ambani consistently made it into the headlines as he kept selling equity stakes in his telco Reliance Jio to foreign investors and kept roping in hefty sums. Companies like Facebook and private equity firm Silver Lake made up the top investors in Ambani's business.
Collectively, private equity firms and tech giants from the US and the Middle East made up 10 investors in Ambani's Jio and the business tycoon raised over $15 billion (INR 115,693 crores).
In addition, the company also added over $6.9 billion (INR 53,124 crores) from RIL’s “Rights Issue”.
Rights Issue comes into play when the company offers existing share holders more shares at lesser prices as a non-dilutive pro rata way to raise capital.
“I express my heartfelt gratitude to all the retail and institutional investors, both domestic and foreign, for their overwhelming participation in our record-setting Rights Issue", Ambani added.
Reliance Industries ranked 106th in 2019 on the "Fortune Global 500" list of the world's biggest corporations, with Ambani's net worth alone standing at around $53 billion. Following losses in its hydrocarbon business, Reliance announced salary cuts for its employees who were joined by Ambani himself. In light of the fragile economic situation, Ambani has decided to let go of his annual remuneration of $3 million for the time being.
Amid the global health crisis, the World Bank has predicted that India’s economy will decline by five percent this year.