Anil Ambani's debt-ridden Reliance Group is likely to shift its corporate headquarters and chairman's office back to Reliance Center at Ballard Estate in South Mumbai. Yes Bank recently issued a notice of possession to Ambani's headquarters property at Santacruz and two other offices in South Mumbai. The present option before the group is to shift the office back to Ballard Estate, which was the headquarters of the group until early 2018, when the group completed construction of the Santacruz office, said sources in the know.
"Because of the present coronavirus pandemic situation, the shifting process will take time. Eventually, Ballard Estate office is the sole option before the debt-trapped group and there are some refurbishments going on there," said two sources. However, the 6,000-square-feet and three-floors Ballard Estate building is not enough to house all the employees from Santacruz office.
An email sent to Reliance Group spokespersons failed to elicit any response.
Reliance Center, which was earlier Crescent House, owned by Kolkata-based ICI, was built on Mumbai Port Trust land. The property came into the Ambani family's fold when the then undivided Reliance Industries took over businesses of ICI in the early 1990s. After the Ambani brothers divided the Reliance empire among themselves in 2005, the Ballard Estate office went to Anil Ambani's Reliance Group. A portion of the Ballard Estate building has been occupied by the Maharashtra government's civil supplies department, which won it through legal battle about a couple of years back.
Reliance Infrastructure, a Reliance Group company, owns the land of Santacruz headquarters. It has tried to sell the 700,000 sq ft headquarters in Santacruz since mid-last year to pay off some part of its debts. However, another legal trouble emerged as the company got the land parcel when it bought state-run electricity distribution company BSES. The electricity company argued that the land was transferred to the company for administrative purposes and setting up of substations if required. By the time, Adani Transmission completed the acquisition of Ambani's power distribution business in Mumbai. It was at this point of time, Yes Bank checked in with their claim on the land.
Anil Ambani's bankrupt telecom company Reliance Communications (RCom) had another huge property in Navi Mumbai, where Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City (DAKC) is located. It was the nerve centre of Ambani's telecommunication business. The property is included in the insolvency process of RCom. RCom has received a Rs 16,000 crore takeover offer from Delhi-based UV Asset Reconstruction Company (UVARC) in the insolvency process. The bankrupt telecom tower infrastructure company, Reliance Infratel has received Rs 6,127 crore offer from Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio.