Feuding brothers: Mukesh and Anil Ambani
BILLIONAIRE Anil Ambani’s call for an end to a bitter feud with his elder brother Mukesh over the split of the family business empire is unlikely to lead to a resolution ahead of hearing next week in their ongoing battle over gas supplies, analysts said. Shares in firms controlled by the brothers were up today, on hopes for a resolution after Anil Ambani on Sunday (October 11) made a public call to end the impasse with his older brother, but analysts said the gains may be short lived. “The rise is just a knee-jerk reaction to Anil’s comments yesterday,” said Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP-Paribas Financial Services. The Reliance empire, which spans energy, telecommunications and financial services, was split between the brothers in 2005 following the death of their father, Dhirubhai Ambani, a legendary Indian business tycoon who built Reliance from scratch. The siblings have since been involved in several disputes, the latest over a deal for Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries to sell gas to Anil Ambani's Reliance Natural Resources at below-market rates as agreed in a 2005 family settlement brokered by their mother, Kokilaben. The dispute flared in the midst of the largest-ever sale of India's oil and gas exploration rights, which aims to attract at least $3bn (£1.9bn) in commitments.
The row between the brothers has led to a near-daily exchange of words, with Anil Ambani accusing India’s Petroleum Ministry of taking the side of Reliance Industries. In a statement on Sunday, Anil Ambani said he wanted an end to the impasse. Reliance Industries said it welcomed the move, but added the dispute under litigation was not merely a family matter and that it hoped “any overtures for rapprochement are in no way related to the ongoing hearing of the case”.
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