In 2007, Anil Ambani was the sixth richest Indian as per Forbes Billionaires index with a net worth of $45 billion. Come 2019, his flagship company RCom has filed for bankruptcy and Ambani's personal wealth has slumped to $1.7 billion, ranked at 66.
The steady fall in the share prices of Anil Ambani's group of firms since 2007 is phenomenal after he severed ties with his brother and Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, whose fortunes have grown ever since and is currently valued at $48.5 billion.The junior Ambani lost an estimated wealth of $30 billion in 2008 and was featured in the Forbes "World's biggest loser of the wealth" that year.
There is a $94.7 billion gap in the market value of the firms owned by Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani, respectively. The difference in the compound annual growth rates (CAGR) of Mukesh and Anil Ambani's respective firms is also striking. While Mukesh's Reliance Industries and other firms have shown a positive growth rate over the last decade, the growth rate of Anil Ambani's firms has been negative, according to a Bloomberg report.
Anil Ambani, who according to Forbes rich list of 2007, owned 66 percent stake in the Reliance Communication. His plight has been worsened by the failure to sell RCom's wireless assets to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio to raise as much as Rs 18,000 crore. RCom had also sold other assets to Canadian firm Brookfield, which would bring in Rs 5,000 crore.
Why Mukesh can't help
RCom alone owes banks a whopping debt of Rs 45,000 crore, which is more than the current estimated net worth of Anil Ambani. With banckruptcy and possible imprisonment of Anil Ambani, even Mukesh Ambani is not able to fish out his younger brother of the troubled waters. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has maintained that if Mukesh buys the assets of RCom, he also needs to pay the dues of the firm, which the former has denied to, adding to Anil Ambani's problems.
On the other hand, RCom is already embroiled in a legal tussle with Erricson, which it owes a total of Rs 550 crore, on the non-payment of which, Anil Ambani faces contempt of court and a likely three-months imprisonment. The debacle of RCom is not the only problem Anil Ambani faces, his other ventures such as Reliance Defence has also generated a huge controversy in India over the Rafale jet deal of $8.7 billion in 2016 with accusations of his group being unreasonably favoured by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.
Anil Ambani's Reliance group has already exited from entertainment and power sectors and sold its assets to other corporates whereas the stocks of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd and Reliance Power have witnessed a decline.