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RIL may look at M&A for growth

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Aug. 3

EVEN as Reliance Industries Ltd is eyeing a threshold year of 2009-10 for its Rs 42,600-crore investment to show results, in the interim period, the company may be looking at the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) route for major growth.

According to Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, RIL, the company will have enough surpluses for new acquisitions and initiatives. The market buzz is that RIL will emerge a big player in the M&A game in the coming days.

With life sciences expected to be a focus area, the fact is Reliance is nowhere in the international map as far as scale of operations is concerned, being a late starter in the sector. Therefore, if RIL is to make major strides in life sciences or health care, a logical extension of life sciences, then the company has no option but to travel the acquisitions route with more regularity in the coming days.

Meanwhile, RIL is targeting monetisation of its Krishna Godavari discoveries in four years.

"The time has come to take RIL's core oil and gas, petroleum refining and petrochemicals businesses to a much higher trajectory... We are targeting completion of development (of KG D6 block) in 2008-09 and the first full year of commercial production in 2009-10. We have identified several customers, and in the first phase we will have 40 million cubic metres per day of gas production," said Mr Mukesh Ambani.

Also on the cards is the commercial development of coal bed methane (CBM) fields in Madhya Pradesh by 2009-10.

The commercial viability of these CBM blocks have been established and RIL has turned to exploring new fields in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

The three oil discoveries in an onshore block in Yemen are also expected to go on production by the end of this year, the estimated initial flow rate being 5,000-8,000 barrels of oil a day.

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