On Friday 20th March, a deadline set by a United Kingdom court for Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) chairman Anil Ambani to pay $100 million to three Chinese banks came to an end.
Ambani is tangled in litigation with three state-controlled Chinese banks who claim that the Indian business mogul has provided a personal guarantee against loans given to his now- defunct telecom company Reliance Communications Ltd, which filed for bankruptcy last year. Ambani has contested the personal guarantee claims of the banks. The lenders in question—Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, China Development Bank and Exim Bank of China—had sought a summary judgement against Ambani over an alleged breach of a personal guarantee on a debt refinancing loan of around $925 million in February 2012.
During his trial in the UK, Ambani had pleaded poverty, saying that his net worth was down to zero, blaming it on a series of investments that had gone wrong.
His failure to pay the amount is expected to have serious implications for him, including a potential seizure of his personal assets in India and across other countries.
According to the Bloomberg the Indian business mogul had made a last-minute bid to postpone the payment deadline after an appeal court judge ruled on Thursday that his application “had no real prospect of success and is totally without merit".
On 7 February, the High Court of England and Wales set the terms for the “condition order" of a payment into court it had granted to the three Chinese banks last year against Ambani.
The argument was however set aside by the court, which ruled that Ambani was still liable to make the payment. At that hearing, the judge ruled that Ambani or a member of his family must still put up the cash. He said that he didn’t believe that his family wouldn’t help.
“What I’m dealing with is an extraordinarily wealthy family who have helped each other in the past," he said.
However, officials did not believe that Ambani’s family “have firmly and irrevocably brought the shutters down".