An Indian Express investigation Records into the Pandora Papers scandal have shown that the chairman of Reliance ADA Group and his representatives own 18 offshore companies in Jersey, British Virgin Islands (BVI), and Cyprus. The revelations come after he told a London court in February of 2020 that his net worth was zero following a dispute with three Chinese state-controlled banks.
Back then too, the London court observed “there are questions about the extent to which Mr Ambani has any offshore interests, because if so they have not been declared”, said a report from The Indian Express. The off-shore accounts were reportedly set up between 2007 and 2010, and seven of the companies have apprently borrowed and invested at least $1.3 billion.
The offshore companies include three in Jersey, according to the Indian Express report, namely: Batiste Unlimited, Radium Unlimited and Hui Investment Unlimited (incorporated between December 2007 and January 2008). “Batiste Unlimited and Radium Unlimited are owned by Reliance Innoventures Pvt Ltd, the ultimate holding company of ADA Group. Hui Investment Unlimited is owned by AAA Enterprises Ltd (Reliance Inceptum Pvt Ltd since 2014), which is a promoter company of Reliance Capital,” stated the Indian Express report.
According to the records, two other companies incorporated in Jersey in January 2008, called Summerhill Ltd and Dulwich Ltd, are owned by a “representative of Anil Ambani”, identified as Anup Dalal, who also reportedly owned a BVI company called Reindeer Holdings Ltd. It was supposedly was used for investment management.
The three other Jersey companies linked to Anil Ambani and incorporated in January 2008 are: Laurence Mutual; Richard Equity Ltd and German Equity Limited, all beneficially owned by a lawyer in Geneva. The Pandora records also show that Anil Ambani/Reliance had given guarantees to banks for loans, as per service providers which managed these companies.
Similarly, each of the offshore companies were set up, and loans were availed from various banks at different points of time after 2007. Anil Ambani was also ordered to pay $716 million in May 2020 to the Chinese banks which not initiated action due to a moratorium ordered on it by the Delhi High Court, in a State Bank of India’s insolvency proceedings against Anil Ambani.
In response to The Indian Express’s report, a lawyer on behalf of Anil Ambani told the newspaper: “Our client is a tax resident of India and has made disclosures to Indian authorities as required to be made in compliance with law. All required considerations were taken into account when making disclosures before the London court. The Reliance Group conducts business globally and for legitimate business and regulatory requirements, companies are incorporated in different jurisdictions.”