Reliance demerger hits roadblock

Mumbai, February 6:

India’s best-known family feud appears to be flaring up again, with companies controlled by the two Ambani brothers exchanging a flurry of accusations over the demerger of Reliance Industries Ltd.

The latest round at the weekend was sparked by the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group — a holding firm recently floated by younger brother Anil Ambani — which accused the parent company of delaying transfer of control of the four companies that were split following last year’s very public feud.

Reliance Industries Ltd, the parent company controlled by older brother Mukesh Ambani, denied the charges.

The continuing row between the two brothers, whose father Dhirubhai Ambani built the Fortune 500 company, but died without a will, has been India’s most talked about sibling rivalry since it erupted in late 2004.

A court order eventually gave Mukesh Ambani control of the parent company — now mainly centered on oil and petrochemicals — while his brother was to head four demerged companies: Reliance Communications Ventures Ltd, Reliance Energy Ventures Ltd, Reliance Capital Ventures Ltd and Reliance Natural Resources Ltd.

Plea deferred

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday adjourned until next week the hearing of a Reliance Airports Developers petition challenging the award of contracts for modernising the Mumbai and Delhi airports. A bench consisting of judges T S Thakur and Sanjiv Khanna asked the petitioner and the government to file replies to the petition by Saturday. — HNS