'Mukesh's stance on MTN deal disgusting' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Mukesh's stance on MTN deal disgusting'

delhi Updated: Jul 11, 2008 20:16 IST
PTI
Mukesh Ambani

Terming as "disgusting" the Mukesh Ambani group's opposition to a potential deal between Anil-led RCOM and MTN, Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh on Friday wished that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intervenes to bring about a rapprochement between the two.

"The way Mukesh is opposing this MTN deal is very disgusting because it is good for the country. At times, the reaction of Anil's camp may also be detrimental," he said in an reference to the bitter acrimony between Ambani siblings.

"So, in the circumstances somebody as senior as the Prime Minister should intervene," he told private TV channel CNN-IBN in an interview when asked could he mediate between Mukesh and Anil for a settlement.

"It is my suggestion. I do not know if it is feasible, practical or pragmatic or not," Singh added.

Justfing the need for PM's intervention, Singh said, " Anil and Mukesh do not represent only their respective corporate groups. They represent major economic hub of this country and their fight will be definitely detrimental to the interest of shareholders and in some way to the economy of the nation."

When asked why he did not bring a rapprochement between Mukesh and Anil Ambani just as there has been a rapprochement between the Samajwadi Party and Congress, Singh said, "I would be very happy doing that. But let me tell you it is a personal matter and it can not be sorted out by someone like me."

"You need a man of Manmohan Singh's stature at least to intervene because I agree ... That nation's economy will get hurt," Singh said, adding he was "nobody to meddle in any corporate affair like this."

Earlier this week, RCOM and MTN extended their exclusive negotiations till July 21 for a potential deal, which could create a combined entity worth about $ 70 billion.

The talks have been hit by uncertainties after Mukesh-led Reliance Industries claimed first right of refusal in a majority stake in RCOM and threatened legal action if a deal breaches its rights. However, Anil Ambani group is contesting these claims saying they are legally and factually untenable.

RCOM and MTN had first announced the start of their 45- day exclusive talks on May 26 after the South African firm's talks fell apart with another Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel for a potential deal.