Mukesh Ambani has helped his younger brother avert a stint in jail, stepping in to make an $80 million payment for his sibling Anil whose telecom-to-infrastructure empire is struggling under the weight of debt.
The embattled former billionaire, Anil Ambani, thanked his brother Mukesh, and his sister-in-law, after Reliance Communications Ltd.completed the required 5.5 billion rupee ($80 million) payment to the local unit of Ericsson AB for past maintenance services. Repeated failures to pay and Ambani’s personal guarantee landed him in trouble in February, with the top court giving him a month’s notice to comply or spend time in prison.
“My sincere and heartfelt thanks to my respected elder brother, Mukesh, and Nita, for standing by me during these trying times, and demonstrating the importance of staying true to our strong family values by extending this timely support,” he said in a statement from Reliance Communications. “I and my family are grateful we have moved beyond the past, and are deeply grateful and touched with this gesture.”
The last-minute twist underscored family ties despite their turbulent relationship more than a decade after the scions of one of India’s richest families feuded over control of an empire left behind by their father. After they carved up the conglomerate, the older brother’s oil and petrochemicals business flourished, while Anil Ambani’s businesses ranging from telecom to power and infrastructure strained under massive debt, with the tycoon fending off creditors in multiple court cases.
As a result, the younger sibling’s net worth has shrunk to about $300 million, from at least $31 billion in 2008 based on the current foreign exchange rate, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, marking his stunning fall. That is in stark contrast to the success of Mukesh, whose net worth now is $54.3 billion and added $10 billion this year alone, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.―Bloomberg