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RIL board okays buyback @ Rs 570; Anil abstains
December 27, 2004 12:56 IST
Last Updated: December 27, 2004 13:54 IST
The Reliance Industries Ltd board, under the chairmanship of Mukesh Ambani, on Monday fully supported the buyback of shares brushing aside the criticism and objections raised by vice-chairman Anil Ambani.
The RIL board approved the buyback at Rs 570 per share, sources said.
Meanwhile, Anil Ambani, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd, abstained from voting and left immediately after the board meeting of the company.
Anil is likely to make a comment on why he abstained from voting on the crucial issue.
The maximum buyback price represents 11 per cent premium over the average one year trading price range and 9 per cent over the last closing price of 524 on Friday, December 25.
The board approved the proposal of the company's fully paid up equity shares of Rs 10 each at a price not exceeding Rs 570 per equity share, payable in cash, up to an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 2,999 crore (Rs 29.99 billion), the statement said.
"This represents the largest ever equity share buyback in India," an RIL statement said. The RIL board approved the provision for the buyback scheme from its reserves of Rs 30,000 crore (Rs 300 billion).
After the approval of RIL share-buyback, discussions started on more contentious issues relating to the equity pattern and investment in Reliance Infocomm and the future of Reliance Energy Ltd, sources in the company said.
In a statement earlier, Anil Ambani said: "If you look at the recent run up at the stock prices after the announcement of buyback, I believe there is more than what meets the eye in terms of what is happening in the market place."
It is for the first time in the history of corporate India that a vice chairman and managing director of a company is questioning the buyback proposal of his firm just before the board meeting and after the announcement of the proposal in terms of appropriateness while hinting at some behind the curtain moves.
Bhakta attends board meet
M L Bhakta, one of the directors on the board of Reliance Industries Ltd, who had tendered his resignation and later withdrawn it, attended Monday's meeting called to consider buyback of RIL shares.
The withdrawal of Bhakta's resignation, which was understood to have been accepted by the board, was the first item on the agenda followed by the buyback.
Within days of the spat between the two Ambani brothers, Bhakta had announced his resignation following which Mukesh visited his residence asking him to reconsider it.
SEBI assessing legal provisions
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India today started assessing the legal provisions of the buyback in the wake of Anil Ambani's comments before the RIL board meeting.
SEBI Chairman G N Bajpai and Director Anantharamnan are believed to have started discussions on it within minutes of Anil Ambani's statement that "there is more than that meets the eye," in relation to the buyback.
Senior SEBI officials said there was enough scope to look into the entire issue. BSE officials, however, declined to comment on the issue.