Billionaire to Bankruptcy! Tracing Anil Ambani’s loan-ly fall from dizzying heights

From being the sixth richest man in the world to his company filing for bankruptcy, Anil Ambani has seen it all. However, in a media conference, Anil Ambani revealed that more than Rs 35,000 crore of loans have been paid back in the last 14 months. He further said that all future payments will be done in a “timely manner”. But, on May 31, the bankruptcy proceedings of Reliance Communications (RCom) were officially started and it became the first Anil Ambani company to file for bankruptcy.

Here is a look at the rise and fall of the sixth richest man in the world:

From $42 billion to $ 1.5 billion

In 2008, Anil Ambani was worth a whopping $42 billion according to Forbes, but once known to be the sixth richest in the world has crashed down and now Anil Ambani no longer in the billionaire's club, although Forbes real-time data says that he is worth $ 1.5 billion.

Expensive yacht

During his peak, he also bought his wife, former Bollywood actor Tina Ambani, a yacht worth Rs 4 billion in 2008. But, in the same year, 2008, he lost USD 30 billion as stock market crashed and due to which his net worth dropped to USD 12 billion.

The 2G Scam

In 2010, Reliance Communications promised that it will by 3G Spectrum and the company's dongle business was still technologically relevant. In the same year, Anil Ambani bought coal mines in Indonesia in order to boost his electricity business. That time his net worth recovered but didn't last long. In 2011, the 2G Scam unearthed and 122 telecom companied lost their licences. Anil Ambani was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for the role he played in promoting Swan Telecom. His net worth dropped to USD 8.8 billion by the end of 2011.

Mumbai Metro project

Though Anil Ambani was dragging himself to stay up the ladder, by 2013 his fortunes declined. His was power company was not doing well and he was planning to give up troubled power plants like Krishnapatnam. Even though Anil Ambani was facing financial difficulties he signed up Maharashtra government's ambitious project the Mumbai Metro under Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Infrastructure. That year his net-worth slipped to USD 5.2 billion.

Anil Ambani sells power business to Adani

In 2018, Anil Ambani was facing loses in Reliance Infrastructure’s Mumbai power distribution business, after which he managed to sell it to Gujarat-based Adani Group, Adani Transmission Ltd (ATL).

Reliance Communications bankruptcy

While he was trying hard to survive in the corporate world, in 2018, sectoral stresses such as price wars, heavy debt and plunging profitability that crippled India's telecom sector also took their toll on RCom. In 2019, Anil Ambani faced the real downfall as Reliance Communications announced its bankruptcy and was told by the Supreme Court to pay dues to vendor Ericsson or go to jail. But his big brother, Mukesh Ambani stepped in and saved Anil from going to jail. Making a dramatic intervention, Mukesh Ambani paid money owed by him to Ericsson. Mukesh Ambani shelled out Rs 580 crore due to the Swedish equipment maker.

But that didn't end there as now three Chinese lenders, including China Development Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Exim Bank of China, have demanded at least $2.1 billion. Now, some reports have claimed that his net-worth has dropped to USD 0.5 billion.

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