Headlines Today – June 17, 2010
After five years of bitterness, is reconciliation between the warring Ambani brothers on the cards?
The crucial RIL AGM
It is believed that Anil Ambani and his wife Tina will be present at the AGM of the Mukesh-owned Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).
Friday also marks five years to the day since the two brothers signed on the family settlement, leading to a split of the Dhirubhai Ambani empire between his two sons. Mother Kokilaben was the moving force behind the deal, which was inked to bring peace between the brothers.
Kokilaben will be present at Friday’s AGM at the Birla Matoshree Hall.
Buzz on Dalal Street
Analysts expect RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani to make a few crucial announcements. Firstly, he is expected to apprise shareholders on the Supreme Court judgement on the gas dispute with Anil.
Mukesh will, in all likelihood, also update the RIL shareholders on the negotiations with Anil for the supply of natural gas to his power companies.
On May 7, the Supreme Court ruled on pricing of natural gas from RIL-owned fields for use in Anil’s power plants. It adjudged the case in favour of RIL and upheld the government’s right of ownership over the gas.
At the AGM, Mukesh might also give details of his wireless broadband rollout plans and his foray into telecom. RIL recently re-entered the telecom domain by acquiring 95 per cent stake in Infotel Broadband.
There are reports that the senior Ambani might even indicate whether RIL will hike its stake in Anil’s Reliance Communications.
What led to the thaw?
Kokilaben enforced her right as a major shareholder in both the entities in convincing both the brothers that they work towards constructive collaboration.
On May 19, Anil travelled to Kedarnath with mother Kokilaben to offer prayers. Four days later, the two brothers ended their non-compete agreement and opened each other’s business domains to one another.
On May 29, Anil and wife Tina stopped over at Mukesh’s guesthouse while on a visit to Tirupati. In a week’s time, Anil withdrew the Rs 10,000-crore defamation suit filed against Mukesh.
By June 10, the patch-up looked complete as both the families vacationed together in Dhirubhai’s favourite spot – the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
The next day, Mukesh bought Infotel Broadband for Rs 4,800 crore and announced his re-entry into the telecom business.