Reliance now net-debt free: Mukesh Ambani

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Billionaire Mukesh Ambani on Friday announced that his oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries is now net-debt free months ahead of its March 2021 target after raising a record Rs 1.69 lakh crore from stake sales and rights issue in less than two months time.

Reliance secured over Rs 1.15 lakh crore from global tech investors including Facebook by selling a little less than a quarter of its digital business and raised Rs 53,124 crore selling shares to existing investors in the past 58 days.

Taken together with last year’s sale of 49 per cent stake in fuel retailing venture to BP Plc of UK for Rs 7,000 crore, the total fund raised is in excess of Rs 1.75 lakh crore, the company said in a statement.

Reliance had a net debt of Rs 1,61,035 crore as on March 31, 2020. “With these investments, RIL has become net-debt free,” it said.

“I have fulfilled my promise to the shareholders by making Reliance net debt-free much before our original schedule of March 31, 2021,” said Ambani, 63, who raised record funds amid coronavirus pandemic. After a planned USD 15 billion stake sale in his oil-to-chemical business to Saudi Arabian Oil Co got delayed, he set out to prove skeptics wrong by luring partners to Jio Platforms Ltd, which houses India’s biggest telecoms firm by subscribers, Reliance Jio.