The fight between the Ambani brothers intensified on Saturday. Younger brother Anil’s Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) threatened legal action against older brother Mukesh’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) for trying to “disrupt” merger talks of Anil’s Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) with South African telecom major MTN.
The Press Trust of India, quoting a letter reportedly sent to Mukesh’s group by Anil’s said: “If RIL chooses to take legal action, the same will be vigorously defended by RCom, which would claim costs and damages.”
Sources close to RIL said: “We stand by the statement we issued on Friday.” (See Page 7)
The spat is the latest in a series of battles the brothers have fought since the Reliance group was split between them in 2005. The latest face-off began after Mukesh’s group claimed first right of refusal over RCom shares in case they were being sold. If the sale of the shares is blocked, the merger with MTN would fall through as it envisages the transfer of Anil’s shares in RCom to MTN. MTN’s promoters’ shares would in turn be transferred to Anil.
Mukesh’s group had claimed that the share swap would be a breach of the first right of refusal, according to PTI.
RCom replied that it has jumped to conclusions without knowing the contours of the transaction.