Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani has been asked by a UK Court to pay nearly $717 million to three Chinese banks pursuing the recovery of funds owed to them as part of a loan agreement within 21 days.
According to a agency report, at a remotely held hearing, in line with procedures in place for the Covid-19 pandemic, Justice Nigel Teare ruled at the Commercial Division of the High Court of England and Wales in London that a personal guarantee disputed by Ambani is binding on him.
“It is declared that the Guarantee is binding on the Defendant (Ambani),” Justice Teare’s order notes.
“It is declared that… the sum payable by the Defendant to the Claimant (banks) pursuant to the Guarantee is $716,917,681.51,” it reads.
A spokesperson for Anil Ambani said the matter pertains to an alleged personal guarantee for a corporate loan availed by Reliance Communications Limited (RCom) in 2012 for global refinancing.
“It is emphasised that it is not a personal loan of Mr Ambani. ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) made their claim based on an alleged guarantee that was never signed by Ambani and he has consistently denied having authorised anyone to execute any guarantee on his behalf,” the spokesperson said.
“As far as the judgment of the UK court is concerned, the question of any enforcement in India does not arise in the near future, and Mr Ambani is seeking legal advice on the future course of action,” the spokesperson said.