Reliance is ‘net-debt free’, Mukesh Ambani says he fulfilled promise to shareholders before schedule

Entrepreneur Mukesh Ambani on Friday said that his company Reliance Industries is now “net-debt free” after raising over Rs 1.68 lakh crore in 58 days.

“I have fulfilled my promise to the shareholders by making Reliance net-debt free much before our original schedule of March 31, 2021,” Ambani said in a statement shared in a BSE filing.

The statement noted that RIL raised Rs 1.15 lakh crore from worldwide tech investors by selling a little under a quarter of the company’s digital unit, Jio Platforms Limited. It added that another Rs 53,124 crore was raised through a “rights issue”.

“The combined capital raised has no precedence globally in such a short time,” the statement read. “Both of these are also unprecedented in Indian corporate history and have set new benchmarks. This is even more remarkable that this was achieved amidst a global lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the stake sale to BP in the petro-retail JV [joint venture], the total fund raise is in excess of Rs 1.75 lakh crore.”

Last year, Ambani had assured his shareholders that the company would become net-debt free by March 31, 2021. He had also mentioned that its subsidiaries, Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail, would also be listed in the next five years.

The announcement came a day after Reliance Industries announced that Saudi Arabia-based wealth fund Public Investment Fund will invest Rs 11,367 crore in Jio Platforms to buy a 2.32% stake in Jio Platforms. It was the 11th investment in Jio Platforms over the last nine weeks.

The company’s stock touched an all-time high of Rs 1,788.60 on the BSE. Reliance Industries also became the first-ever company in India to hit the market capitalisation of Rs 11 lakh crore, CNBC-TV 18 reported.

Investments in Reliance Jio since April

On June 8, Reliance Industries announced that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will buy 1.16% of its digital unit Jio Platforms for Rs 5,683.5 crore through a wholly-owned subsidiary. The investment came days after Abu Dhabi’s state fund Mubadala Investment Co announced it will invest Rs 9,093.60 crore in Jio Platforms, translating into an equity stake of 1.85% in the company.

On May 21, United States-based private equity firm KKR bought a 2.32% stake in Jio Platforms, amounting to Rs 11,367 crore. This came exactly a month after Facebook Inc bought a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 43,574 crore.

The announcements have come even as the world continues to face the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdowns in many parts of the world have severely impacted national economies and wrought hardships on many other small and large businesses.



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