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Thursday, Dec 09, 2004

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Anil's posers to Mukesh on RIL control

Ambarish Mukherjee

New Delhi , Dec. 8

THE fight between the two Ambani brothers intensified on Wednesday with Mr Anil shooting off five questions to Mr Mukesh on the controversial issue of management control of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), which indirectly gives control over the entire Reliance group.

Mr Anil has sought to know that if management issues had been decided during the late Dhirubhai Ambani's life time, how is it that he has no details about them even till today?

Sources in the Anil camp clarified to Business Line that he did not raise these questions in his official capacity as the Joint Managing Director of RIL, but orally within the family. "These are questions from a brother to a brother," sources said.

Mr Anil Ambani also questioned as to why no disclosures about decisions on management control were made to the RIL board and its 36 lakh individual and institutional shareholders. He asked whether such disclosures had been made to the stock exchanges and the market regulator SEBI.

Mr Anil asked why his powers as the Managing Director of the company were sought to be substantially curtailed only in August 2004 and not much earlier, when the management issues were claimed to have been decided? Besides, even three weeks after Mr Mukesh Ambani's initial statement, why is it that no further details, information and documentations are available to anyone?

Senior stock exchange officials, when contacted, told Business Line that as per the listing agreement, a company does not need to provide such information to the exchanges.

According to the requirements, a company has to provide information about the shareholding of promoters and persons acting in concert as on March 31 each year and as on record date, officials said. It is also required to inform the exchanges if any person acquires more than 5 per cent of shareholding and if the holding crosses the 15-per cent mark.

A company must immediately inform the exchanges in case of any change in directors, according to officials. Otherwise, it is for the board of directors to decide on the hierarchy and responsibilities given to the Managing Director and whole-time directors or any other person to look after the day-to-day affairs of the company.

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