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reliance industries: Mukesh Ambani makes Reliance net debt-free ahead of its March 2021 target

Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s most valuable company, has become free of net debt months way before its March 2021 target after raising over $23 billion from stake sales in Jio and a rights issue.

Mukesh Ambani racked up a record Rs 1.15 lakh crore from global tech investors by selling a little less than a quarter of the firm’s digital arm, Jio Platforms Ltd, and another Rs 53,124.20 crore through a rights issue in the past 58 days. Taken together with last year’s sale of 49 per cent stake in fuel retailing venture to BP of UK for Rs 7,000 crore, the total fund raised is in excess of Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

Reliance had a net debt of Rs 1,61,035 crore as on March 31, 2020. “With these investments, RIL has become net debt-free,” it said. “I have fulfilled my promise to the shareholders by making Reliance net debt-free much before our original schedule of March 31, 2021,” Ambani said.

Jio Platforms – which houses the country’s youngest but largest telecom firm Reliance Jio, raised Rs 1,15,693.95 crore from leading global investors including Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, ADIA, TPG, L Catterton and PIF since April 22, 2020.

Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund PIF buying 2.32 per cent stake in the unit for Rs 11,367 crore on June 18 “marks the end of Jio Platforms’ current phase of induction of financial partners,” the statement said. Alongside, Reliance launched India’s biggest right issue, which was subscribed 1.59 times. Though the rights issue size was Rs 53,124 crore, the company has got only 25 per cent of the money as the remaining is to be paid only next fiscal.

Ambani had at the company’s annual general meeting on August 12, 2019 announced a roadmap for Reliance to become a net debt-free company before March 31, 2021.

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