Mukesh Ambani clears brother Anil's Ericsson dues, saves him from jail term

Mukesh Ambani Asia's richest man. — AFP  File

Mukesh Ambani Asia's richest man. — AFP File

Following this ordeal, a almost decade and a half long bitter battle ensued between the two. They also rejected Reliance Communications' unconditional apology. The statement by RCom had no details of the nature of the assistance extended by Mukesh.

"Ericsson has received the payment along with upto date interest and it will accordingly be withdrawing the petitions filed for insolvency", said senior advocate Anil Kher who has been representing Ericsson quoted as saying. The top court had ordered him to pay up within four weeks.

Jio said the master agreement for acquisition of certain specific assets of RCom and the spectrum trading agreement for change in allotment of certain specific spectrum stand terminated.

On Monday, RCom shares fell 9.30% to ₹4.00 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.19% to end the day at 38,095.07 points.

ET was the first to break the story about RCom making the payment, on its online platforms earlier Monday.

Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani has helped his younger brother avert a stint in jail, stepping in to make an $80 million payment for his sibling whose telecom-to-infrastructure empire is struggling with debt. They split his businesses between themselves, with Anil getting telecom and power while Mukesh retained oil and petrochemical businesses.

The non-compete clause was scraped in 2010, and Mukesh quickly re-entered the telecom sector, buying a company which had won 4G licences in all 22 circles. Together with Rs 118 crore it had previously paid, RCom has cleared all dues including interest.

A spokesman for the Anil Ambani group didn't respond to an email seeking comments on plans to pay the Ericsson dues.

That same month his woes deepened when the Supreme Court ruled he would be jailed if he failed to pay 5.5 billion rupees ($77 million) to Sweden's Ericsson by Tuesday.

Had he not paid Ericsson Ambani would have been held in contempt of court because it had been judged that he had the cash handy, but just felt like holding onto it.

The Anil Ambani-owned operator is also facing contempt charges from minority shareholders of Reliance Infratel. But RCom said the airwaves deal had been called off by "mutual consent" due to objections from India's telecom department and more than 40 of the company's foreign and domestic lenders.

RCom said "transactions have become incapable of being consummated" on account of various developments in the last 15 months. Jio said the deal to but nodes and fibre stood.

Rcom informed the exchanges that National Company Law Appellate Tribunal's (NCLAT) order in February restraining the "the sale, transfer or alienation of any movable or immovable property of" RCom and its units was another reason. Once India's second-biggest phone carrier, RCom shut down its mobile business late in 2017.

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