By paying Ericsson Rs 453 crore dues in the nick of time, Reliance Industries chairman and billionaire Mukesh Ambani saved his younger brother Anil Ambani from certain imprisonment. Mukesh Ambani on Monday evening paid dues to Swedish provider Ericsson. Mukesh paid the amount with interest. As per reports, the payment of Rs 550 crore and interest was made to Ericsson as Supreme Court orders. Anil Ambani could have been imprisoned for three months if the due amount hadn’t been paid by March 19.
Anil Ambani thanked his elder brother Mukesh Ambani and sister-in-law Nita Ambani. In a statement, Anil Ambani said that he is thankful to Mukesh Ambani and Nita for standing with him in these trying times and staying true to family values by extending timely support. He further added that he is deeply touched by this gesture.
Last month, the Supreme Court had ordered Anil Ambani to clear Ericsson dues within four weeks and be ready for a three-month jail term for contempt of court if he couldn’t repay the money. In 2017, Swedish provider Ericsson had moved a bankruptcy court alleging that Reliance Communications had not paid its dues of around Rs 1,600 crore after signing a deal in 2013. The Anil Ambani-led company had to operate, maintain and manage the Ericsson network nationwide. But after repeated failure by Reliance Communications to comply with the contract, the Swedish provider approached the Supreme Court to enforce it.
The apex court found Anil Ambani guilty of contempt of court and ordered the company to clear the dues to Ericsson within four weeks failing which the court threatened to send the billionaire businessman and other RComm directors to jail if the money wasn’t paid by March 19.
Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani split the Dhirubhai Ambani-founded empire after Dhirubhai’s death in 2002. Mukesh Ambani, the elder brother, got control of the flagship oil-refining and petrochemicals business, Anil got newer businesses like power generation, financial services and telecom sectors. The Anil Ambani-led companies started borrowing heavily to explore business ventures as much as to overtake Mukesh’s refining firm Reliance Industries, which continues to lead the path of successful companies at least in this part of the world.
Till 2010, the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications was in the black but the company was borrowing heavily to remain solvent and at the top. After 2010, the competition began to stifle Reliance Communications and its lead. Further, the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio entered the telecom market in 2015 by offering free data services and other cheaper services to gut several telecom companies including Airtel, Vodafone and Idea and his brother’s telecom venture was also hit in the expansion of Jio.