UK court orders bankrupt Anil Ambani to pay $717 million back to Chinese banks

A UK court on Friday directed Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani to pay nearly $717 million (around Rs 5,446 crore) within 21 days to three Chinese banks pursuing the recovery of funds owed to them as part of a loan agreement.

In February 2012, Reliance Com took a loan of over $700 million from three Chinese Banks which Anil Ambani provided personal guarantee to. The company now in insolvency proceedings, defaulted on the loan which the banks have sued it for to be recovered with interest. The three banks in question are Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd Mumbai Branch, China Development Bank and Exim Bank of China.

This Friday, through remote hearing because of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, Justice Nigel at the Commercial Division of the High Court in London ruled that Anil Ambani is required to honour the guarantee provided, “It is declared that the guarantee is binding on the defendant (Ambani).”

The order reads, “It is declared that pursuant to clause 3.2 of the guarantee, the defendant is liable in respect of any payment made by RCom to the lenders towards repayment of the loan which is repaid, reversed or refunded as a result of the RCom insolvency action.”

Anil Ambani’s office though has consistently denied “having authorised anyone to execute any guarantee on his behalf.” They are exploring further legal options.

In an earlier hearing, the court had refused to entertain Ambani’s defence that his net worth now is zero and also that he will find no support from his extended family.