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Give 12% in RIL as free bonus: Anil Ambani
January 05, 2005 13:36 IST
Last Updated: January 05, 2005 19:25 IST
In the continuing Reliance ownership saga, the Ambani brothers on Wednesday traded fresh accusations, all in the name of the company's shareholders numbering about three million.
Younger brother Anil Ambani, vice-chairman of the parent company Reliance Industries Limited, made public yet another instalment of the proposals he had mooted at the December 27 RIL board meeting, which had solidly backed his brother and RIL chairman, Mukesh Ambani.
Anil, through his spokesman, said that in a presentation to the board, he had proposed that 12 per cent equity of RIL held by the company's Petroleum Trust and four companies, whom he did not name, be distributed free among the shareholders.
Ignoring this, the board had, instead, approved Mukesh's proposal for buyback of shares.
Sources close to Mukesh responded by saying it was Anil who had suggested that the 12 per cent stock be kept as treasury stock when the merger of RIL and Reliance Petroleum Limited took place in 2002.
Anil had suggested at the December 27 board meeting that the maximum price for the buyback of shares should be only Rs 450 against the chairman's figure of Rs 570 which was approved by the board, the sources said.
Sources said the suggestion of providing the 12 per cent stock as bonus shares in the current scenario would have the opposite effect of providing a 'safety net' to the shareholders.
The bonus shares would increase the floating stock and thereby put additional pressure on the price, they said adding that the buyback proposal would provide the shareholders with a safety net and reduce the floating stock.
Shares belonging to the promoters and persons acting in concert would not be bought as part of the buyback programme, RIL had said in a notice to the stock exchanges after the board meeting.
If the lower price of Rs 450 a share, as suggested by Anil in the meeting on December 27, had been accepted, this would have had the opposite effect of hammering the share prices further down, sources said.
"At this juncture, when the RIL shares are being hammered down by a sustained systematic disinformation campaign, the board of Reliance Industries felt there is a need for a safety net, for those wanting to sell the shares, to be priced higher than the current market price.
"This is in consonance with the management's view that the shares are currently undervalued," sources added.