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Mukesh Ambani’s eye on his brother Anil’s property, likely to buy it once and for all

There was a time when Anil Ambani was among the top industrialists of India and now the situation has become so worse that chairman Mukesh Ambani inched closer to buying assets of his younger brother Anil Ambani’s debt-laden Reliance Infratel Ltd.

The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal has approved Reliance Jio’s resolution plan for the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infratel. Following this, lenders of Reliance Infratel will receive about ₹4400 crore for the bankrupt company’s tower and fibre assets. Reliance Infratel is a fully owned subsidiary of Reliance Communications.

On the other hand, Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries, has taken the world by surprise after surpassing the richest man in Europe, Bernard Arnault to become the fourth wealthiest person in the world.

No one in India has come close to his net worth. It’s because of an epic success of his telecom company Reliance Jio, he is enjoying a staggering wealth.

The massive net worth of Mr. Ambani has hiked to $80.6 billion, making him the only Asian tycoon in the exclusive club of the world’s top 5 richest people. The other 3 persons ahead of Mukesh Ambani, owner of Reliance Industries Ltd are Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

According to the plan approved by lenders, RCom and its subsidiary Reliance Telecom will go to UV Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd whereas the tower unit, Reliance Infratel, will go to Jio. The total consideration under this resolution plan of ₹20,000-23,000 crore will be paid over a period of seven years.

Reliance Infratel has 43,000 towers and 172,000 kilometre of fibre assets as well as data centres, which will be available for access to Jio.

Reliance Infratel earned total revenues of Rs 1,343 crore for 2019-20, compared with Rs 1,450 crore the previous year. It incurred a net loss after tax of Rs 66 crore for 2019-20, compared with a loss of Rs 132 crore the year before.

RCom’s overall debt is estimated to be around ₹46,000 crore when the company had filed for bankruptcy with around 53 financial creditors submitting their claims that included domestic banks, foreign banks, non-banking financial companies and funds.

Besides the banks, operational creditors like the tower companies, equipment vendors and the telecom department have claimed nearly ₹30,000 crore in dues, of which over ₹21,000 crore has been verified.

India’s biggest telecom company Jio, which came into the market in 2016, has also seen a tough time because Airtel has surpassed Jio in terms of net additions since the latter launched 4G services.

Written by Dharam Sikarwar

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.

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