Mumbai: Tina Ambani, wife of billionaire Anil Ambani, who leads the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, or R-Adag, is buying a yacht worth nearly Rs200 crore ($46.8 million).
The former Bollywood actor has chosen a 100m-long yacht that can host at least 20 people besides the crew, said a person familiar with the development. She has also applied for membership at the 161-year-old, Mumbai-based Royal Bombay Yacht Club, or RBYC.
Owning a luxury yacht is not new to Indian businessmen or companies. Vijay Mallya, chairman of the UB Group with interests in liquor and aviation; Gautam Singhania, chairman of textiles firm Raymond Ltd; the Bajaj Group that owns auto and financial services companies, the Indiabulls Group that owns brokerage and realty firms, the Godrej Group that has interests in products ranging from soaps to vaults, and auto maker Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, among others own such luxury boats.
Super buy: Tina Ambani is looking at a larger version of a luxury boat.
An email Mint sent to the executive assistant of Tina Ambani remained unanswered and an R-Adag spokesperson said he could not comment.
“She had applied for a membership some time back,” said RBYC secretary Suresh Kumar. “We are processing her request and she will get a membership shortly. However, I am not aware about her yacht-buying plans.”
An RBYC membership enables an individual or company to enjoy various sailing and training programmes the club undertakes. The club also offers maintenance support and anchor space.
Ambani’s yacht is “special.” “She is looking at a larger version of a luxury boat that can be used for long cruises with multiple cabins and plush interiors,” said the same person who did not wish to be identified.
Going by the technical specifications revealed by this person, Ambani’s yacht will be like Mallya’s 95m Indian Empress, which is powered by three 10,000hp engines.
Incidentally, Anil Ambani’s estranged elder brother and chairman of India’s largest private company Reliance Industries Ltd, Mukesh Ambani, had gifted his wife Nita Ambani a luxurious Airbus 319 corporate jet worth nearly Rs250 crore last year.
Last week, Forbes magazine named Tina Ambani as one of the 10 billionaires’ wives who have impressive independent credentials. In 2004, she founded the Harmony for Silvers Foundation, a non-government organization that works towards improving the life of old people.
The Harmony Interactive Centre, operating since May 2004, provides an opportunity for senior citizens or “silvers” to interact with their peers in a space of their own and also aims at educating the general public about issues the elderly face.
Her husband, Anil Ambani, is the sixth wealthiest person in the world and founder of R-Adag that has a net worth of Rs55,000 crore.
“I cannot comment on Tina Ambani buying a super yacht. If it is a super yacht, it will be an exceptional buy,” said Shakeel Kudrolli, managing director of Acquasail Pvt. Ltd that represents Chantiers Beneteau SA, a leading yacht company.
“But I can only say that India is increasingly catching up with the US and Europe when it comes to buying specialized yachts. It is not uncommon that high networth individuals buying yachts after owning other premium products such as a BMW and other pricy possessions,” he said.
Kudrolli, who has been into sailing for the past 35 years and launched the part ownership concept in yachts, said that companies are buying more sophisticated sports-cum-leisure boats to offer special hospitality to their premium customers instead of taking them to conventional five-star hotels.
“Some of the corporations are buying yachts for meetings and leisure activities for internal teams, while some are using sailing as team-building exercise,” he said.