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Reliance invites RCom for conciliation
BS Reporter in Mumbai
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July 04, 2008 09:51 IST
Reliance Industries Ltd [Get Quote] (RIL) has invited Reliance Communications [Get Quote] for "mutual conciliation prior to arbitration" on the dispute over the latter's bid to sew up a merger deal with MTN.

However, RCom is unlikely to accept the offer, indicating a lengthy court battle ahead and a delay in the RCom-MTN merger.  Meanwhile, RCom is also believed to have sought a two-three week extension to complete its exclusive talks with MTN and the due diligence process.  The process was slated to end on July 8.

RIL has sent the letter to RCom and MTN, in which details of the non-compete agreement, including the first right of refusal, has been mentioned.

When contacted, RCom executives said, "This is only a sign of RIL's increasing desperation and frustration." However, they did not confirm the receipt of the letter. RIL, which has been opposing the ongoing talks between RCom and MTN Group for a proposed merger, had earlier written to MTN and bankers claiming first right of refusal in case RCom shares change hands.

RIL cited the agreement signed at the time of the family settlement for the claims, which was denied by RCom.

RCom has sought a two-three week extension to complete the exclusive talks and the due diligence process. When contacted, both RCom and MTN Group executives declined to comment.

RCom had proposed a reverse merger, under which the South African company will offer 34 per cent stake to Anil Ambani who would remain as the largest shareholder in the company.

RCom-MTN deal by Sunday: WSJ

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