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Ambanis' fight makes it to Forbes list

business Updated: Oct 28, 2007 21:09 IST

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India's top industrialists Mukesh and Anil Ambani have once again made it to a list of richest people compiled by US business magazine Forbes, but this time the billionaire brothers were recognised more for their running feud.

"Sometimes fighting has a silver lining, as has been the case for Indian brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani," the US business magazine wrote about the two siblings in a report on the latest list - 'Billionaire Family Feuds'.

In 2005, the two had a collective net worth of seven billion dollars. In the Forbes' March 2007 list of world's richest persons, Mukesh alone was ranked at the 14th place with 20.1 billion dollars and younger brother Anil followed at 18th position with a net worth of 18.2 billion dollars, it said.

"Unable to get along, the brothers began fighting publicly in the late 2004 for control of Reliance Industries, one of India's largest conglomerates. The situation became so untenable that their mother Kokilaben brokered a court- approved peace settlement that entailed divvying up the family businesses," the report noted.

"Once-inseparable brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani fought bitterly for months over control of Reliance Industries, one of India's largest companies, founded by their late father Dhirubhai."

According to Forbes, the bickering is still continuing between the two brothers despite their mother brokering a settlement to divide the family assets way back in June 2005.

"Anil has taken Mukesh to court a couple of times, most notably over a crucial gas-supply agreement. The recent court ruling gives the brothers four months to renegotiate a deal."

Still, the fight has not affected the stock prices of their companies, which are continuing to soar and are making them much richer than what they were when the fight first started.

The other billionaire family feuds mentioned in the list include a then "19-year-old member of the Hyatt's Pritzker family, who successfully sued her father and almost a dozen other relatives, and a father and his beauty-queen fifth wife suing his son over the family fortune."

Half of the ten fights are related to the US families, while the Ambani family is the only one from India. There are also feuds involving families in Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Switzerland.

Forbes has also listed the fight involving late celebrity actress and former Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith, who battled her stepson, of much higher age than her, for about a a decade to get the rights over the fortunes of her late husband.

While the case was yet to be resolved, both Smith and her husband died. They were married for just a month.

"For these wealthy dynasties, there just doesn't seems to be enough money in the world to convince them to get along.

Instead they turn on each other, and very often, take their relatives to court.," the magazine said about the families rows mentioned in the report.