Friday, June 18, 2010

High excitement at RIL's AGM ebbs as Anil fails to turn up

Following the patch-up between the Ambani brothers last month, the annual general meeting (AGM) of elder brother Mukesh-chaired Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) witnessed heightened excitement among shareholders.

They started trickling-in since morning, leading to serpentine queues outside the Birla Matoshri Sabhagriha in south Mumbai, the venue for the meeting.

The packed-to-capacity hall burst out in cheer and applause when Mukesh announced that he was looking forward to a "harmonious and constructive relationship" with his younger brother Anil Ambani's Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG).

Mukesh, India's richest man, and Anil, had been engaged in a long-drawn legal battle over the supply of gas to the younger brother's RNRL. Following a

Supreme Court judgement in favour of RIL in May, the brothers annulled a non-compete agreement signed in 2005 after the separation of family businesses.

Speculation was rife since morning whether Anil, a shareholder in RIL, would take the re-established relationship to a new high by attending the AGM, but the younger sibling did not turn up.

Their mother Kokilaben and Mukesh's wife Nita and son were amongst the attendees. In their remarks during the question and answer session, many shareholders commended the normalisation of relations between the two brothers, each of whom heads a separate multi-billion dollar conglomerate.

However, some disappointment was also visible as many expected more from Mukesh's speech on the new-found relationship with his younger brother as well as on entering new businesses and investments to be made going forward.

"It did not have mentioned the SC judgement and the annulment. We are reading reports like Mukesh investing in Anil's companies but there was no mention (about it)," said one shareholder.


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