Braving a difficult weekend after closing a regulatory ruling that curbed his group's trade dealings, Anil Ambani ran the 21.1-km ‘half marathon’ at Mumbai on Sunday with a personal best timing before a press conference in which he said SEBI’s ruling last week will not impact his growth plans.
The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) retains full financial flexibility and if needed it can even buy companies through open offers, he said.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had on Friday passed an order initiated by the group under which Anil Ambani and four other group executives have been restricted from investing in the secondary market (including stock markets) until December 2011 and two of his group companies, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Natural Resources limited (RNRL), until December 2012. The order relates to a 2007 case involving unfair trade practices linked to diversion of borrowed funds.A charged-up Ambani asserted that SEBI had not banned Reliance Infrastructure and RNRL or himself and other directors from substantive activity in the market and the curbs left sufficient room for normal corporate activity.
In case he planned to buy a company, it would be for management control and even open offers would be allowed under SEBI’s order, he said.
“RInfra and Reliance Power retain full financial flexibility to raise resources and implement growth plans,” Ambani said.
“The primary issue for us over the last 4-5 years of growth has been that we have supported companies either through IPOs (initial public offers), QIPs (qualified institutional placement), preferential issues, GDRs (global depository receipts) or FCCBs (foreign currency convertible bonds). And that is unhindered as we move along,” he added.
The SEBI order followed a probe that revealed misrepresentation of the nature of investments in some cases.
When asked if there was an error of judgement or mistake on his or group’s part, Ambani said: “This is a learning process.”
Asked about the trading curb, Ambani said, “The consent process is a voluntary process and we have to frame the conditions which build enough safety around potential issues that may come up.”
The younger Ambani stressed on the fact that consent process was purely voluntary and the terms were not imposed or induced by SEBI. He said that it had been done to avoid a long drawn litigation process and distraction of management time.