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Regional corporate scene: feuding ambani brothers
One last squabble before the parting of ways
Anita Jain, FT Syndication Service

          A volley of words between the Ambani brothers who presided over the June split of the Reliance empire founded by their father reflects a final flaring of tensions before the two make a clean break, analysts say.
After months of calm, younger brother Anil Ambam recently levelled a series of accusations involving a gas supply agreement and the transfer of companies at his brother Mukesh Ambani, who controls Reliance Industries.
Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Enterprises (ADAE) says Reliance Industries had stalled the transfer of four companies set to go to the younger brother. The four are Reliance Communications Ventures, Reliance Energy Ventures, Reliance Natural Resources and Reliance Capital Ventures.
The two brothers divided the oil-to-telecoms Reliance conglomerate over the summer after a protracted feud over ownership, eventually settled when their mother intervened and split up the assets of the group founded by her husband Dhirubhai.
It was decided that the petrochemicals, refining, and exploration assets would be transferred to Mukesh, while Anil would assume control of Reliance Capital, Reliance Energy, and Reliance Infocomm, the group's telecommunications unit. The three companies are now housed under the ADAE umbrella.
But ADAE says: "Nearly eight months have now passed after the announcement of the proposal for overall reorganisation. Unfortunately, despite the lapse of this inordinately long period of time, Mr Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Industries, have not completed any of the major activities required to implement the overall settlement, in letter and in spirit."
ADAE says Reliance Industries missed its January 25 deadline to transfer the companies.
Reliance Industries has responded by saying the companies must be listed on the stock exchange before control is handed over and it was ADAE that had delayed the transfer.
Meanwhile, a letter from Sandeep Tandon, chairman of the four demerged entities, to Anil Ambani's nominees to the boards of the four new companies has accused them of intentionally missing a January 27 board meeting to delay listing.
"We have taken all actions for listing and the process of transferring shares is almost over. We want to hand over the companies as soon as possible," Mr Tandon told a local news channel.
Sanjay Dutt, director of Quantum Securities, says he expects the latest dispute to be resolved soon. "This particular impasse should not turn into a protracted tussle between the two."
Also at issue is an agreement by Reliance Industries to supply gas to Reliance Natural Resources, one of the companies that ADAE said has not been transferred. ADAE is dependent on the gas for its Patalganga and Dadri power projects.
ADAE says a gas pact signed last month by Reliance Industries contained "significant deviations" from an original agreement between the sides. Reliance Industries had agreed to sell 28m cubic metres of gas a day to Reliance Natural Resources at $3.18 per million British thermal units.
ADAE has given no details of the deviations, saying only that they concerned the term of agreements and scope of gas blocks. It says the gas pact was signed when Reliance Natural Resources was still under the aegis of Reliance Industries, and was only approved by two directors of Reliance Industries who sit on the board of Reliance Natural Resources.
A person close to both groups said: "There's a feeling at ADAE that the contract is not as watertight as it should be. There's a question of getting tightness around the clauses. This has to be resolved and it has to happen pretty quickly."


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