Mukesh Ambani bails out Anil Ambani in Ericsson payout case
19 March 2019
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani have come to the rescue of the younger scion of the Ambani family, Anil Ambani, providing him with much-needed cash to pay up dues to Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson ahead of a court prescribed deadline.
While details of the dealings are not known, the embattled Anil Ambani on Monday thanked Mukesh and Nita Ambani for helping him to warded off a possible jail term.
Swedish company Ericsson, which confirmed on Monday it has received Rs458.77 crore from RCom, also confirming RCom cleared dues of the Swedish service provider at the eleventh hour with money received from elder brother Mukesh and his wife Nita.
“My sincere and heartfelt thanks to my respected elder brother, Mukesh, and Nita, for standing by me during these trying times, and demonstrating the importance of staying true to their strong family values by extending this timely support. I and my family are grateful and deeply touched with their gesture,” Anil Ambani said in a statement.
An RCom spokesperson stated that the requisite payment of Rs550 crore and interest thereon to Ericsson has been completed in compliance with the Supreme Court judgment.
RCom, which owed Ericsson a one-time settlement of Rs550 crore plus interest, had already deposited Rs118 crore with the Supreme Court in February.
The Supreme Court had, in February, found Anil Ambani guilty of contempt of court for wilfully failing to pay Ericsson. The court then ordered Anil Ambani and two RCom directors to pay Ericsson the dues within four weeks or face a three-month jail term for contempt of court. The deadline to make the payment ended on Tuesday.
This is the second time that Mukesh Ambani has come to the rescue of his brother after their famous feud that dogged the Reliance Group and ended up splitting it into two between the two brothers.
Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Jio Infocomm had, in 2018, bought RCom’s wireless assets for Rs3,000 crore, after RCom struggled for cash partly as a result of a price war triggered by the market entrance of Reliance Jio Infocomm.
With Monday’s payment, the debt laden telco ends its 18-month long battle with Ericsson.
The Swedish firm signed a deal in 2014 to manage and operate RCom's network and last year approached the court over the unpaid dues.