On May 29, RCom offers an upfront payment of Rs 550 crore to Ericsson, as a settlement, on condition that Ericsson withdraws the insolvency application.
His slide down the wealth rankings also paints a picture that's in stark contrast to the success of his elder brother Mukesh Ambani, who's now Asia's richest man with a net worth of US$52.9 billion, adding US$8.6 billion this year alone, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
That was owed to Swedish telecom equipment company Ericsson and had been run up by his telecoms group Reliance Communications.
While the divergence in fortunes of the two brothers since the split has been evident to the world for many years now, it was underlined in the starkest possible terms yet by Anil's statement saying, "My honest and heartfelt thanks to my respected elder brother, Mukesh, and Nita, for standing by me during these trying times, and demonstrating the importance of staying true to our strong family values by extending this timely support".
Last month, the Supreme Court had held Ambani in contempt for not following its order to pay back Rs 550 crore to Ericsson for its services to now-defunct Reliance Communications. "I and my family are grateful we have moved beyond the past, and are deeply touched with this gesture". In 2005, three years after their father's death, the two settled to split the empire into two. This comes at a time when RCom is trying to sell spectrum, towers and fiber assets to Reliance Jio, the company owned by Ambani's older brother Mukesh Ambani for $3.7 billion to reduce the $7 billion debt load on its books.
As regulatory hurdles delayed the completion of his biggest deal, creditors such as Ericsson began tightening the noose and demanded past dues. The court threatened to send the businessman, and the chairmen of RCom units Reliance Infratel and Reliance Telecom - Chhaya Virani and Satish Seth - to jail if the money wasn't paid in four weeks.
Ericsson's lawyer confirmed receipt of the payment.
Ericsson had moved a bankruptcy court in 2017 alleging it had not been paid dues of around Rs 1,600 crore after signing a deal in 2013 to operate, maintain and manage the telco's nationwide network. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, in a ruling March 15, said it can't direct banks to release the amount. Earlier this month, Anil Ambani and his wife - Tina - attended the wedding of Mukesh's son, Akash, with Shloka Mehta in Mumbai along with a host of high-profile personalities.
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.