Mumbai: Anil Ambani, chairman of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), said on Tuesday that the group was fully committed to meeting all its future debt servicing obligations in a timely manner through asset sales that are already at various stages of implementation.
He said that the group has already serviced debt of ₹35,000 crore to its various lenders in the past 14 months, including ₹24,800 crore in principal payments and ₹10,600 crore in interest payments. Going forward, the group will become capital light, with minimum debt and high equity, he added. The servicing of the debt was made through monetization of assets of Reliance Capital Ltd, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd and Reliance Power Ltd, he said. “All these sales have been made against insurmountable odds," said Ambani, while addressing reporters in a conference call on Tuesday.
Ambani’s statement assumes significance in the backdrop of various financial creditors approaching the bankruptcy courts to recover dues worth ₹86,187.38 crore from three ADAG group companies. Lenders have submitted claims of ₹49,193.46 crore, ₹24,306.27 crore and ₹12,687.65 crore against Reliance Communications Ltd, Reliance Telecom Ltd and Reliance Infratel Ltd, respectively.
“In the past 14 months, banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, non-banking financial companies and pension funds have added zero net additional liquidity to any group company," he added.
“I regret the continuing total apathy and lack of any support whatsoever from the financial system," Ambani said, pointing out that it “ultimately only significantly hurt the interests of lenders themselves as well as all other stakeholders. The Reliance group has demonstrated its bona fides in no uncertain manner as above."
He also said the group was struggling and was forced to meet debt obligations through asset monetization as regulatory bodies and courts have not passed any final adjudication orders on claims aggregating to over ₹30,000 crore that are due for 5-10 years to various group companies, especially Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Power and their affiliates. “Final decisions have been inordinately and repeatedly delayed for one reason or the other," Ambani said.
Reliance Group companies have sued HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, and nine others in the Bombay high court over a 2 October 2014 front-page story that they have disputed. HT Media is contesting the case.