Billionaire Mukesh Ambani said today that his Reliance Industries is now net debt-free, much ahead of its original goal of achieving the status by the end of March 2021. Over the past few weeks, oil-to-telecom conglomerate’s Reliance Industries’ rights issue of more than Rs 53,000 crore and investments of Rs 1.16 lakh crore in its digital services arm, Jio Platforms, from global companies including internet giant Facebook helped the group become net debt-free much before schedule.
With these investments, Reliance Industries said it has become net debt-free. The group’s net-debt had stood at Rs 1,61,035 crore as of March 31, 2020.
“I have fulfilled my promise to the shareholders by making Reliance net debt-free much before our original schedule of 31st March 2021,” Mukesh Ambani said in a statement released early on Friday.
Reliance Industries said that the combined capital raised so far – including the rights issue and sale of stake in Jio – has no precedence globally in such a short time. The group said that both are also unprecedented in the country’s corporate history, and that it is “even more remarkable that this was achieved amidst a global lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Reliance Industries sold a total 24.70 per cent stake in Jio Platforms in 11 deals for Rs 1,15,693.95 crore within nine weeks starting April 22.
Out of these 11 deals, Facebook committed the biggest capital infusion of Rs 43,573.62 crore for a 9.99 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, which houses Reliance Industries’ telecoms arm Reliance Jio Infocomm. The internet major was followed by US-based private equity firms Vista and KKR, and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, each of which took a 2.32 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 11,367 crore.