MUMBAI: Lawsuit filed by State Bank of India seeking to invoke the personal guarantees given by Anil Ambani "does not relate to any personal borrowing but arose out of a guarantee given for a loan which was availed by Reliance Communications (RCom) and Reliance Infratel Ltd (RITL), way back in 2016 to repay the debts of Chinese and certain other Indian banks."
At the annual general meeting of Reliance Power, Ambani said he was defending himself against the lenders' claims and believes that the resolution of RCom will settle the matter.
Ambani has also been fending off a London high court order, from May, that directed him to repay $716 million (around ₹5,000 crore) to three Chinese banks, an amount which Ambani raised for RCom through personal guarantees
"As regards this claim of the Chinese Banks," Ambani said at the shareholders' meeting, "the loan in respect of which the proceedings have been initiated was not for any personal borrowing but for a corporate loan which was availed by the telecom company, Reliance Communications, in the normal course of business eight years ago in 2012 from a consortium of 3 Chinese Banks – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the China Development Bank, and the Export-Import Bank of China –for global refinancing."
Ambani said the guarantee on the basis of which the claim was made was not signed by him and he had only signed a power of attorney limited to executing a non-binding letter of comfort to the Chinese Banks. His defence has been "shut out by the UK courts on the inability to personally deposit a sum of $100 million."
Ambani added that while the final amount owed under the alleged guarantee will be assessed based on the outcome of the RCom insolvency resolution process he will avail of all available legal remedies in India to protect his interest.
The three Chinese banks say they had provided a loan of $925.2 million to RCom in 2012 on the agreement that Ambani provide a personal guarantee. State Bank of India is attempting to recover over ₹1,200 crore from Ambani under the personal guarantee clause at the National Company Law Tribunal.