Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani said Friday that his Reliance conglomerate is net debt free after raising more than $22 billion in a rights issue and selling stakes in its e-commerce unit to Facebook, Saudi Arabia's wealth fund and others.
Asia's richest man after upending the Indian telecoms market, Ambani is attempting to do the same in e-commerce with Jio Platforms, taking on US giants Amazon and Walmart in the vast market of 1.3 billion consumers."I have fulfilled my promise to the shareholders by making Reliance net debt-free much before our original schedule of 31st March 2021," the chairman of the oil-to-telecoms giant said in a statement.
"I wish to assure them (shareholders) that Reliance in its Golden Decade will set even more ambitious growth goals, and achieve them," he added.
Ambani, 63, lives in a 27-storey luxury Mumbai skyscraper believed to have cost more than $1 billion to build. For years he has been embroiled in an epic feud with his brother Anil Ambani.
In April, Mumbai-based Reliance raised $5.7 billion by selling a 9.99-percent stake in Jio Platforms to Facebook, in one the biggest ever foreign investments in India.
Further deals quickly followed, including with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and private equity firm KKR.
To further its e-commerce ambitions, Reliance is also closing in on a stake in units of Future Group, which already has a partnership with Amazon, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.Shares in Reliance Industries were up almost four percent in Mumbai after the debt announcement.