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RIL Declared Net Debt Free, Much before Original Schedule Reliance Industries has raised INR 1.75 lakh crore against its debt of INR 1.61 lakh crore to become net debt-free, much ahead of the March 2021 deadline set by the company

By Shipra Singh

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Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Friday announced that it is now a net debt-free company after raising combined capital of INR 1.75 lakh crore from a clutch of global investors and through its rights issue.

In just 58 days, the Mukesh Ambani-led company has raised INR 1.15 lakh crore from 10 global investors, including Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, ADIA, TPG, L Catterton and PIF in return of 24.71 per cent stake sale of its digital unit Jio Platforms.

The first funding announcement of INR 43,574 crore ($5.7 bn) came from social media giant Facebook on 22 April, which is also the largest amongst the 10 investors.

The rights issue of its shares has garnered another INR 53,125 crore to the company.

"Along with the stake sale to BP in the petro-retail JV, the total fund raise is in excess of INR 1.75 lakh crore. Our net-debt was INR 161,035 crore, as on 31st March 2020. With these investments, RIL has become NET DEBT-FREE," the official company statement said.

The RIL Rights Issue, which was subscribed 1.59 times, was not only the largest ever in India, but also the largest in the world by a non-financial entity in the last ten years, the company said.

Commenting on the capital raise, RIL Chairman Ambani said "Over the past few weeks, we have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal interest of the global financial investor community in partnering with Jio. As our fund-raising milestone from financial investors is achieved, we sincerely thank the marquee group of financial partners and warmly welcome them into Jio Platforms. I also express my heartfelt gratitude to all the retail and institutional investors, both domestic and foreign, for their overwhelming participation in our record-setting rights issue."

RIL had set March 2021 as the deadline to cut its debt of INR 1.61 lakh crore. "I have fulfilled my promise to the shareholders by making Reliance net debt-free much before our original schedule of 31st March 2021," Ambani said.

RIL shares hit an all-time high of INR 1,688 on BSE, jumping nearly 2 per cent, in the early trade on Friday after the company announced its net debt-free status.

Shipra Singh

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