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Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005

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Reliance spat: What's in store at ensuing board meetings?

Ambarish Mukherjee

New Delhi , Jan. 18

THE next three days may witness many new twists and turns in the ongoing Reliance saga with the two warring Ambani brothers gearing up for a showdown as the boards of four main Reliance group companies meet to consider their quarterly results.

The board of Reliance Energy Ltd will meet on Wednesday. On Thursday, the boards of Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd (IPCL) and Reliance Capital Ltd (RCL) will meet.

And, on Friday the board of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will be meeting to consider the company's third quarter results.

There is a strong possibility that the outcome of the board meetings, apart from the consideration of financial results, would provide indications about the turn of events that may happen inside the Ambani family regarding "ownership issue."

This is because of Mr Anil Ambani's resignation as the Vice-Chairman of IPCL, it is learnt, would be taken up for consideration in the IPCL board meeting.

It is also learnt that the younger Ambani has pitched himself against Mr Anand Jain who is known to be a close aide of the elder brother, Mr Mukesh Ambani.

Mr Anil Ambani would be expecting the elder brother to clarify his position on Mr Jain.

Meanwhile, work on valuation of the Ambani family properties is in full swing with the ICICI Bank chief, Mr K.V. Kamath, stepping in as a "family friend."

Informed sources said that Mr Kamath and his team is expected to complete the primary evaluation of the entire family property by the end of January or by the first week of February after which the family will meet and consider various options.

If a workable solution were in sight, informed sources said, then the second step would be to work out the modalities. Otherwise, the fight may intensify further, sources said.

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