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India’s Reliance eyeing stake in Jet Airways-paper

June 18, 2008 · Filed Under Reliance Industries · Comment 

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Indian energy group Reliance Industries Ltd is in talks with Jet Airways Ltd to buy a 6-7 percent stake in the private airline, the Mint daily said, citing a source familiar with the development.

The newspaper said on Tuesday Reliance was keen to buy a minority stake as it wanted to be associated with the domestic carrier’s proposed cargo airline.

“The mode of Reliance Industries’ investment is not finalised. It could be issue of fresh shares or diluting promoter equity,” the daily said.

Spokesmen for Reliance, India’s leading petrochemical maker and a refiner, and Jet were not immediately available for comment.

For Jet, a stake sale would give it cash at a time when Indian airlines are losing money due to high oil prices.

A top company official told Reuters on Monday Jet planned to invest around $10-$15 million to set up a cargo unit, which would likely be launched in mid-2009 or later that year. (Reporting by Hiral Vora and Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)

Source: reuters.com


MTN Group Slides as Family Row Threatens Reliance Merger Talks

June 18, 2008 · Filed Under Reliance Comm · Comment 

MTN Group Ltd. fell the most in more than a week in Johannesburg trading after a feud between India’s Ambani brothers threatened to disrupt merger talks with Reliance Communications Ltd. Chairman Anil Ambani.

MTN, Africa’s largest mobile-phone company, lost as much as 3.94 rand, or 2.8 percent, to 135.01 rand, the biggest drop since June 9. The stock traded at 135.64 rand at 9:39 a.m., valuing the company at 253 billion rand ($29.3 billion).

Reliance Industries Ltd., controlled by Anil Ambani’s older brother Mukesh Ambani, said last week it had informed MTN and Reliance Communications that the company could block any move to sell a controlling stake in the Indian wireless operator without allowing Reliance Industries an opportunity to buy the shares.

Reliance Communications is India’s second-largest mobile- phone company.

Source: bloomberg.com


Reliance MF to shun rate-sensitive sectors

June 18, 2008 · Filed Under Reliance MF · Comment 

Reliance MF on Tuesday told NDTV that it would currently focus on interest-neutral sectors in the current market conditions. It also disclosed that it has applied to Sebi to increase limits for overseas investments.

The AMC has a cautious view on markets in the short term, expecting crude oil and inflation determining the market direction. Its cash levels stand at 22-23% across equity schemes. Its Natural Resources Fund, which raised $1.6 billion, is sitting on even higher levels of cash, at 40%.

But Reliance MF pointed out that it is seeing no redemption pressures and is still seeing inflows through SIPs and diversified funds.

Source: ndtvprofit.com


India’s Reliance Comms falls amid family feud

June 18, 2008 · Filed Under Reliance Comm · Comment 

Shares in Reliance Communications Ltd, India’s No.2 mobile operator, fell more than 2 percent on Monday amid fears that a family feud could delay a multi-billion dollar tie-up with South Africa’s MTN

Energy group Reliance Industries, run by Mukesh Ambani, said last week it had the right of first refusal to a controlling stake in Reliance Communications, owned by younger brother Anil Ambani. Forbes magazine ranks the brothers among the world’s six richest men.

Reliance Communications has been in exclusive talks with MTN since late-May about a deal that could create a top-10 global telecoms firm. As part of a tie-up, Anil Ambani would likely swap his control of Reliance Communications to become the largest shareholder in MTN.

The telecoms firm on Friday called Reliance Industries’ claim to first refusal “legally and factually untenable, baseless and misconceived”.

“The market hates uncertainty, and any such news would not help the stock,” said Jayesh Shroff, fund manager at SBI Mutual Fund.

“I see the stock subdued in the short-term at least,” said Harit Shah, telecoms analyst at Angel Broking. “Sentimentally, it is negative unless a clear settlement is arrived at.”

By 0926 GMT, Reliance Communications shares were down 2.2 percent at 531.65 rupees in a Mumbai market up more than 1 percent. Shares in Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company, were up 0.2 percent.

Reliance Communications said Reliance Industries claimed the right based on an agreement made when Reliance Communications was under Reliance Industries control.

A spokesman for Reliance Industries said on Friday the company had told both the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), of which Reliance Communications forms part, and MTN of the agreement in “good faith”, adding ADAG had never previously questioned the validity of the agreement.

Indian media, engrossed in a long-running feud between the Ambani brothers, reported that Reliance Communications was ready to defend any legal action taken by Reliance Industries and would claim full costs and damages.

Newspapers said Reliance Industries sources said a January 2006 non-competition agreement was different to a family deal struck six months earlier that divided the Reliance empire between the brothers.

“When litigation becomes a part of the story, the stock traditionally loses favour and flavour,” said Arun Kejriwal, strategist at KRIS, an investment advisory firm. (Additional reporting by Hiral Vora, Editing by John Mair & Ian Geoghegan)

Source : guardian.co.uk


Himesh’s Karzzz sold for Rs 350 mn

June 18, 2008 · Filed Under Reliance Entertainment · Comment 

Reliance BIG Entertainment (RBE) has acquired theatrical and other rights of T Series’ much talked about film Karzzz for Rs 35 crore.

RBE bought the world theatrical, satellite and Internet rights of Karzzz and Apparently, this is the highest price a movie starring composer-turned-actor Himesh Reshammiya has got so far.

The movie is shot at a lavish scale and reportedly T Series spent Rs 28 crore on its production. Karzzz is the first of the three-movie deal Reshammiya had recently signed with the company for an undisclosed amount.

Apart from the Rs 35 crore, T Series is expected to earn at least another Rs 25 crore.

Karzzz is a re-make of Subhash Ghai’s hit movie of the same name which was released in the early 1980s. Indra Kumar, who had himself given a number of hits in the late eighties, has directed Karzzz and his daughter, Shweta Kumar, makes her debut in it, playing the female lead opposite Reshammiya.

The cast includes Urmila Matondkar, Danny Denzongpa, Gulshan Grover and Raj Babbar.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com


Reliance: The sibling rivalry continues

June 18, 2008 · Filed Under Reliance Comm · Comment 

Even after the Reliance group announced the division of companies between the two brothers — Mr Mukesh Ambani and Mr Anil Ambani — in June 2005, relations continued to be strained between the two.

The latest dispute is Reliance Industries of Mr Mukesh Ambani claiming first right to his brother’s stake in Reliance Communications in the event of an equity swap with MTN of South Africa, with which Reliance Communications is involved in merger talks.

The dispute between the two brothers as far as the telecom sector is concerned dates back to 1999, when the then undivided Reliance group was deciding on its future for this sector.

Shortly after the family settlement was announced, Reliance Natural Resources Ltd belonging to Mr Anil Ambani got into a dispute with Reliance Industries controlled by his brother over RIL’s agreement for supplying gas from its Krishna-Godavari basin gas fields.

The two companies are fighting the battle in court. Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) requires the gas for its power plants, particularly the Dadri project. RNRL is to get 28 million standard cubic metres of gas from RIL. The two companies are fighting over the price and quantity of gas to be supplied. RNRL took the issue to court in November 2006 saying RIL was not implementing the demerger scheme.

As far as the telecom sector is concerned, the Reliance group was operating GSM-based mobile services in the North East region, Bihar and Orissa and when it was working on its plan for a nationwide footprint, Mr Mukesh Ambani picked the CDMA technology, a competing wireless technology, overruling objections from his younger brother.

After the group demerger, when telecommunications came under his control, Mr Anil Ambani decided to shift back to GSM technology for which he approached the Government, seeking permission to offer dual technology (both CDMA and GSM).

The two brothers have been bidding against each other for projects too — Reliance Energy Ltd controlled by Mr Anil Ambani was the successful bidder for the Mumbai trans-harbour link, outbidding a company floated by his brother, while Reliance Industries bagged a 7.5-hectare plot in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla complex in which the bidders included the Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Communications and Infrastructure Ltd.

Source: thehindubusinessline.com


India’s billionaire Ambani brothers slug it out in telecom row

June 18, 2008 · Filed Under Reliance Comm · Comment 

India’s billionaire Ambani brothers are battling again — this time over a blockbuster deal being negotiated by the younger sibling Anil to create an emerging-market telecoms behemoth.

The long-simmering feud flared anew last week when older brother Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries Ltd, India’s biggest private firm, told South African telecom giant MTN he had first right of refusal to buy a controlling stake in Anil’s Reliance Communications.

Reliance Communications entered exclusive talks in late May to combine with MTN to build a telecoms giant that would reach from Asia to Africa to the Middle East with a market capitalisation of up to 70 billion dollars.

MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator, says it is still going ahead with the talks. “Nothing has changed. We are still having talks,” MTN spokeswoman Nozipho January-Bardill said.

“Talks are on track — in fact they are progressing well,” said a Reliance Communications official.

But legal experts say the row, which hinges on a settlement deal involving the carve-up of the Reliance empire after the 2002 death of the brothers’ wheeler-dealer father Dhirubhai Ambani, could throw a spanner in the works.

On Saturday, Anil threatened legal action against his brother if he tries to block the deal, a Reliance Communications source said, as the battle in India’s richest family heated up.

If Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) “chooses to take any legal action, the same will be vigorously defended by Reliance Communications, and Reliance Communications will claim costs and damages from RIL,” the source said.

RIL insists a 2006 pact stipulates a decision on a majority stake sale in any of the companies belonging to the original group can only be taken after consultations with parties involved in the settlement.

“We feel we have a very strong and sound legal case,” said a Reliance source.

Reliance Communications, flagship of Anil’s group, has accused RIL of seeking to “disrupt creation of one of the world’s most valuable communications companies.”

The brothers appeared to work well together when their father was alive but relations started souring after they inherited the oil-to-communications empire in 2002 from Dhirubhai, who started out as a petrol pump attendant.

The discord between the stockily built Mukesh and the athletic Anil, who is a vegetarian teetotaler, came to a head in 2004.

The trigger came after Mukesh, known as a stickler for detail with a head for executing large projects, had the RIL board pass a motion telling all directors, including Anil, to report to him, saying it was his father’s wish.

Anil, who had always been the more outgoing, appearing frequently on society pages and jogging along Mumbai’s waterfront, fought back in what turned into a mud-slinging corporate soap opera.

The only thing the brothers agreed on was their reverence for the Ambani family matriarch Kokilaben, and they asked her to broker a deal which brought a temporary fraternal ceasefire and the carve-up of the Reliance conglomerate.

Mukesh kept the oil, gas and petrochemicals businesses of the group flagship Reliance Industries. Anil got Reliance Energy, one of India’s biggest power utility firms, the phone company which is his group’s flagship, and finance arm Reliance Capital.

But the deal did not bring harmony and even though the brothers still live in the same 18-storey mansion in the ritzy south Mumbai area, they rarely speak, according to those who know them.

Mukesh, listed by Forbes as the world’s fifth richest person with a net worth of 43 billion dollars, and Anil ranked sixth with 42 billion dollars, have been competing to outdo each other since their father’s death, observers say.

In fact, the last time the two US-educated brothers seemed truly united was at their father’s funeral pyre in 2002 where they stood grieving side by side, they say.

Lawyers believe their latest row could result in a protracted court battle.

Source: afp.google.com


Reliance Energy bids lowest for UP power projects

June 18, 2008 · Filed Under Reliance Energy · 4 Comments 

The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group looks set to be awarded two major power projects with a combined capacity of 3,250 megawatt (MW) at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh after it quoted the lowest per unit cost of electricity, officials said on Friday.

The group’s Reliance Energy had made the bid for the 1,950 MW Bara project and the 1,300 MW Karchna power project of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL), quoting Rs.2.64 and Rs.2.60 per unit for the Bara and Karchana power plants respectively.

Last year, Reliance Energy chairman Anil Ambani announced his company would invest up to Rs.600 billion between 2007 and 2011. The company has already bagged the prestigious 1,200 MW Rosa project in the state.

The Bara project will have three units and Karchna two, each unit with a capacity to generate 650 megawatts.

The state government had floated a global tender after it rejected last month an earlier contract awarded to Lanco Kundapalli. Lanco had quoted the lowest rates of Rs.2.88 per unit for Bara and Rs.2.83 for Karchna in the first bid that opened April 11.

“The rates offered by the company (Lanco) were on a higher side and then it was decided to invite fresh tenders from the same participating companies,” UPPCL deputy general manager Shailendra Dubey said. “The fresh bid still needs a final approval from the state cabinet,” he added.

The other giants that participated in this bid included NTPC, L&T, Tata Power, Lanco Kundapalli, and JLW. UPPCL has allocated Rs.500 million for acquiring the 3,000 acres of land for the two projects. Reliance Energy bids lowest for UP power projects

LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group looks set to be awarded two major power projects with a combined capacity of 3,250 megawatt (MW) at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh after it quoted the lowest per unit cost of electricity, officials said on Friday.

The group’s Reliance Energy had made the bid for the 1,950 MW Bara project and the 1,300 MW Karchna power project of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL), quoting Rs.2.64 and Rs.2.60 per unit for the Bara and Karchana power plants respectively.

Last year, Reliance Energy chairman Anil Ambani announced his company would invest up to Rs.600 billion between 2007 and 2011. The company has already bagged the prestigious 1,200 MW Rosa project in the state.

The Bara project will have three units and Karchna two, each unit with a capacity to generate 650 megawatts.

The state government had floated a global tender after it rejected last month an earlier contract awarded to Lanco Kundapalli. Lanco had quoted the lowest rates of Rs.2.88 per unit for Bara and Rs.2.83 for Karchna in the first bid that opened April 11.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com


Brothers’ row threatens Reliance merger

June 18, 2008 · Filed Under Reliance Comm · Comment 

Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, has claimed he has the right of first refusal to buy his estranged brother’s mobile group, Reliance Communications (RCom), in an apparent bid to derail the company’s $70 billion merger talks with MTN, Africa’s largest wireless group.

Mukesh’s Ambani claim, which could jeopardise the creation of what would be one of the world’s ten largest telecoms groups, was immediately disputed by his brother, Anil, who is India’s second richest man.

RCom said in a statement: “Last night, in a mala fide effort to disrupt the talks, Reliance Industries (RIL), part of the Mukesh Ambani group, has sent a communication to MTN, making a false claim of an alleged right of first refusal to buy the controlling stake in RCom.”

It added: “RIL’s claim is legally and factually untenable, baseless, and misconceived.”

The development marks a fresh low in the combative relationship between the subcontinent’s wealthiest siblings. Their father, Dhirubhai Ambani, who built the Reliance empire, died without leaving a will in 2002. At that time Mukesh took over the running of the business, a situation that frustrated Anil. By 2004, the pair were squabbling publically. Following an intervention by their mother, Anil left with nearly 30 per cent of the business.

Anil Ambani’s spokespeople said that RIL had based its claim over RCom on an agreement dated January 12, 2006 – when RCom was still under Mukesh Ambani’s control. Anil Ambani claim’s that the document was signed only by RIL representatives and was rendered void when control of the mobile unit moved to him – just days later.

RCom, which is India’s second-largest mobile group, said its talks with MTN were progressing well and that Mukesh Ambani’s claim over the group “is born out of mounting despair and frustration at [his brothers company's] continuing successes.”

RCom and MTN entered a 45-day period of exclusive talks on May 26, after Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile operator, dropped out of negotiations with the South African group. A combination of RCom and MTN would boast 116 million subscribers and footholds across Africa, India and the Middle East – some of the most attractive emerging mobile markets.

It is thought that Anil Ambani has been discussing exchanging his 66 per cent stake in RCom for a 34.9 per cent stake in MTN. Various permutations – some of which would involve Mr Ambani retaining a stake in RCom or bringing aboard private equity investors – also remain possible, if a deal is reached.

Source: business.timesonline.co.uk


MTN says will pursue Reliance talks as ownership row flares

June 18, 2008 · Filed Under Reliance Comm · Comment 

South African telecom giant MTN said on Saturday it was still pursuing tie-up talks with Reliance Communications after a dispute erupted over who has the first right to buy the Indian cellular operator.

The statement came after billionaire Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), asserted late on Friday that he had the first right of refusal to purchase his estranged younger sibling Anil Ambani’s controlling stake in Reliance Communications.

“Nothing has changed. We are still having talks with Reliance Communications,” MTN spokeswoman Nozipho January-Bardill told AFP from Johannesburg, declining to comment further.

But the claim by Mukesh Ambani, India’s wealthiest man, could derail the 70-billion-dollar merger talks between Reliance Communications and MTN, Indian media quoted lawyers as saying.

The row signalled another low in relations between the battling brothers who had been joint owners of the sprawling Reliance empire before carving it up in 2005 after being unable to work together.

Reliance Communications, India’s second-largest mobile phone company, called RIL’s assertion “legally and factually untenable.”

Reports have said the deal would involve a so-called “reverse merger” under which Reliance Communications would become a subsidiary of MTN but with Anil as the largest single shareholder and likely chairman of the merged entity.

Reliance Communications, which has 48 million subscribers, accused RIL in a statement of seeking to “disrupt creation of one of the world’s most valuable communications companies.”

A source close to the talks told AFP this week the two sides were at an “advanced stage” in efforts to create a global top-10 telecoms giant stretching from Asia to the Middle East and Africa with a 116 million subscriber base.

MTN, which has 68 million subscribers, is Africa’s largest cellular operator. The two sides entered discussions in late May to build an emerging market powerhouse after India’s top mobile phone company Bharti Airtel hung up on talks with MTN in a dispute over control.

Reliance Communications said RIL’s claim was “borne out of mounting despair and frustration” over the “continuing success” of Anil Ambani’s group.

But RIL hit back, saying it had “in good faith” notified both the Anil Ambani group and MTN of stipulations in a January 2006 agreement that it had the right of first refusal to buy the controlling stake in Reliance Communications.

However, Reliance Communications said the agreement had “unilaterally” been signed by RIL when telecom company was under RIL’s control. It said a court ruled the agreement “unfair and unjust” in October 2006.

Indian media reports quoted corporate lawyers as saying both brothers could have a strong case and the matter could end up in the courts.

The latest row stems from a mud-slinging feud that broke out between the brothers over control of the multi-billion-dollar Reliance corporate empire left to them by their rags-to-riches father Dhirubhai Ambani.

The bruising battle ended in three years ago after their mother Kokilaben brokered a deal. Under the deal, the brothers split up India’s largest private sector conglomerate.

Mukesh kept control of the oil, gas and petrochemicals businesses of the group flagship Reliance Industries. Anil got Reliance Energy, one of India ’s biggest power utility firms, the telephone company and Reliance Capital, the group’s finance arm.

Source: afp.google.com