Anil Ambani, the son of reputed businessman Dhirubhai Ambani and the brother of Asia and India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani who was once the sixth richest man of the world has stumbled down the ladder to a “zero net worth” said before a UK court that he is a man of simple taste and has never led a lavish lifestyle in his life. The chairman of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) was facing questions about his assets from lawyers acting for a trio of Chinese banks while he was giving evidence via videolink for the first time from Mumbai. The court case is over a dispute surrounding a defaulted loan which, according to the allegations of the Chinese bank’s Anil Ambani took by providing a personal guarantee. However, the Indian businessman has denied all claims.
The younger of the Ambani siblings was questioned about several issues and his financial status, including about his spending and his finances, including more than $100 million in family loans. The businessman had said that he owns nothing meaningful and has received Rs 9.9 crore after selling all his jewelry between January and June 2020 according to a report by the news agency Times of India. He also had added, “I have never owned a Rolls Royce. I use just one car at present.”
The three state-owned Chinese banks, namely, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Development Bank, and Exim Bank of China claims that Ambani owes them a sum of $680 million in dues. They argued that they provided funding to his Reliance Communications Ltd. in 2012 where the businessman had provided a personal guarantee to secure the loans.
During the questioning, Ambani had said, “My expenses are minimal and being borne by wife and family. I don’t have a lavish lifestyle and no other income. I met legal expenses by the sale of jewelry and, if I have to meet further expenses, [it] will be subject to approval by the court to dispose of other assets.” He also informed the court that the suggestion of a lavish lifestyle led by him in past, present, and future is completely speculative.
“I think I must put it respectfully in perspective,” he added, “My needs are not vast and my lifestyle is very disciplined.”
Ambani had failed to pay the amount the UK court asked him to pay on May 22nd. The amount totaled to $716.9 million and $ 750,000 in legal costs to be paid to the Chinese banks by June 12. As the once billionaire failed to pay the amount, the Chinese banks led by Industrial and Commerce Bank of China sought disclosure of Ambani’s assets. Thereafter, on the 29th of June, the UK court ordered Ambani to serve an affidavit of all his possessions worldwide exceeding $100,000 or Rs 74 lakh, whether or not owned by him, whether solely or jointly owned, and whether he is interested in them legally, beneficially or otherwise.
Ambani during the hearing had also said, “My expenses are minimal and being borne by wife and family. I don’t have a lavish lifestyle and no other income. I met legal expenses by the sale of jewelry and, if I have to meet further expenses, (it) will be subject to approval by the assets.”
He was also examined over credit card spending on his name in luxury shops including Harrod’s. He said that it was done by his mother on his cards. The court also inquired about the $ 66 million loans provided to him by his mother and $ 41 million loans from his son. Ambani, during the hearing, insisted that those were not gifts but loans.