Months after approving the resolution plan of Reliance Communications (RCom), the company’s primary lender, the State Bank of India (SBI), last week approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and sought the personally guaranteed loans taken by Anil Ambani for RCom. In May, the High Court in London asked Anil Ambani to repay $716 million (around Rs 5,000 crore) to three Chinese banks, an amount which Ambani raised for RCom through personal guarantees.
Although the junior Ambani has contested that he did not raise the loan through personal guarantees from the three Chinese banks – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the China Development Bank, and the Export-Import Bank of China – the court ruled in favour of the banks. During one of the hearings in this case in February, Anil Ambani told the court that his net worth has come down to zero.
According to the banks, they had provided a total loan of $925.2 million to RCom in 2012 on the agreement that Ambani had provided a personal guarantee.
As per the SBI plea, the bank wants to recover over Rs 1,200 crore from Anil Ambani under the personal guarantee clause of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). As per several provisions of the IBC code, the NCLT may nominate a resolution professional for the resolution process of the personal guarantor. The tribunal has scheduled the next hearing for June 30.
In March, the creditors’ committee of RCom approved a resolution plan for RCom submitted by UV Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd. and a unit of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. The bidders offered Rs 23,000 crore against the Rs 49,000 crore claimed by lenders of RCom.
In response to the London court order, a spokesperson of Anil Ambani reportedly said: “The amount ordered to be paid based on the alleged guarantee will in any case reduce substantially upon the imminent resolution of RCom’s debt in accordance with IBC code. The amount claimed under the alleged guarantee will reduce by up to 50% as per the Resolution Plan for resolution of RCom’s debt which has been approved by 100% of RCom’s lenders and has been filed in the NCLT on March 6.”
The Chinese banks may approach Indian courts if Anil Ambani does not adhere to the London court order.