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Home > Business > PTI > Report


Ambani war: Kokilaben holds talks with sons

March 09, 2005 19:16 IST
Last Updated: March 09, 2005 19:26 IST


Kicking off the process for a possible settlement of ownership issues within the Reliance empire, Kokilaben, widow of Dhirubhai Ambani, has started consultations separately with her warring sons Mukesh and Anil on the basis of a valuation report submitted to her by ICICI Bank chief and a family friend K V Kamath.

Kokilaben is understood to have met each of them at least twice to discuss a solution to the spat on the basis of certain recommendations made by Kamath along with the valuation of the family assets in Reliance group of companies.

Also read:
Ambani vs Ambani: Final solution in sight
The Reliance 'ownership issue': Complete coverage

In his report, Kamath is believed to have assessed the value of family assets at over Rs 80,000 crore (Rs 800 billion) and made a few recommendations for both division of equity held by it in different entities as well as control of group companies including flagship Reliance Industries Limited, knowledgeable sources said.

Kamath is said to have suggested that while one brother be given the control of RIL along with IPCL, a petrochemical company in the Reliance stable, the other be given Reliance

Infocomm and other group companies. It was however, not clear as to which of the brothers would opt out of RIL, which appears to be an emotional issue.

Neither Mukesh's camp nor Anil's camp is forthcoming on Kamath's valuation report, on which Kokilaben is also understood to have talked individually with her two daughters Dipti and Neena and their husbands.

On the issue of division of equity, Kamath is believed to have given two options. Under the first option, he is said to have suggested that the two brothers be given 30 per cent equity each from the holding of the family while Kokilaben gets the remaining and takes care of the daughters.'

Under the second option, the two brothers get 50-50 share from the family holding with the consent of the mother in tandem with a defined line of control of different companies of the group.

As per the proposed line, the brother who gets control of Reliance could buyout the other sibling from the company and a sequence of transactions would have to follow to change the family equity in group companies to give both Mukesh and Anil a clear control of the entities which they get.

Control of flagship company had become a bone of contention between the two brothers with sources in Mukesh's camp suggesting as early as December that a negotiation was possible on group companies other than the Reliance Industries, prompting an immediate reaction from the other side that there would be no compromise on it.

While RIL, accounting for most of the family assets including 29 per cent equity held by persons in concert, has a market capitalisation of about Rs 82,000 crore (Rs 820 billion), the other major entity Infocomm has been valued upwards of Rs 50,000 crore (Rs 500 billion) by the bankers engaged by the group.

However, RIL, with profits of over Rs 5,200 crore (Rs 52 billion) during the first nine months of the current fiscal, accounts for bulk of the group's cash flow and profitability while Infocomm still requires about Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) investment for completing the entire project before the venture really starts paying dividend to the promoters.


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