Anil Ambani resigns over family tussle

Himalayan News Service

Mumbai, January 3:

A feud between two brothers in India’s most powerful business family apparently deepened today, after younger sibling Anil Ambani quit as vice chairman of one of the group’s companies. Ambani stepped down from the board of Indian Petrochemicals Ltd — a company owned by the Fortune 500 Reliance Industries Ltd — to protest what he said was another board member’s attempt to worsen differences between the two brothers, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

“I consider it against my dignity, self-respect and self-esteem to be on the same board as Anand Jain,” the report quoted Ambani’s resignation letter as saying, “Anand Jain is heading the conspiracy to divide us (brothers) and to further worsen our differences.” The report did not elaborate, and Ambani’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Jain is considered close to Mukesh Ambani, the elder brother who heads the Reliance group and is also chairman of Indian Petrochemicals Ltd, a former state-owned company that Reliance acquired two years ago.

The Reliance group — a conglomerate of petroleum, petrochemical, telecommunication and electricity businesses with annual revenues of nearly $22 billion — is largely run by the two brothers, who began to drift apart on the ownership issue after their father died two years ago without leaving a will. Mukesh Ambani looks after the crucial petroleum, petrochemical and telecom businesses. Anil Ambani runs the electricity business, led by the power utility Reliance Energy Ltd.