Info-tech

12 years after Ambani brothers split, Mukesh to Anil’s rescue

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 28, 2017

Industry watchers said that the writing was on the wall way back in 2013, when the Ambani brothers announced that they will share a fibre optic network for their rival telecoms companies. “Until then, everyone thought that the two brothers could not see eye-to-eye. But then, they decided to bury the hatchet as they saw the importance of synergy,” said an executive .



Twelve years after the Ambani brothers split the empire following a bitter power struggle, Mukesh has emerged the clear winner.

Not only has Mukesh set up his own telecom behemoth under the RJio platform, he has now acquired the assets which were part of younger brother Anil Ambani’s telecom business.

The split that happened in 2005 saw Mukesh ending up with the core energy business, while Anil ended up with the telecom, financial services and power arms. Since then, Anil, under a mountain of debt, has sold off most of power assets and has now sold a major part of the telecom assets to Mukesh.

Sweet victory

“The telecom asset sale by Anil to Mukesh could be sweet victory for the elder brother as he had laid down the blue print for the same infrastructure in 2002. Mukesh and his team had meticulously rolled out the network then and had launched the CDMA network.

“But the family feud and the resulting settlement meant that the telecom business went to Anil,” said a former executive of Reliance Infocomm, the company that became Reliance Communications under Anil.

Industry watchers said that the writing was on the wall way back in 2013, when the Ambani brothers announced that they will share a fibre optic network for their rival telecoms companies.

Spectrum deal

“Until then, everyone thought that the two brothers could not see eye-to-eye. But, then, they decided to bury the hatchet as they saw the importance of synergy,” said an executive who has worked in both Reliance Infocomm under Mukesh, and later in Reliance Communications under Anil.

If there was any doubt that the once warring Ambani brothers had buried the hatchet then the deal in 2016 settled it.

The billionaires came together yet again for a deal that saw Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Jio buying spectrum from Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications across nine circles. The deal also included spectrum sharing across 17 circles.

“This deal in 2016 was the precursor to what has been announced now in 2017. Anil tried to sell his assets elsewhere. The Aircel merger did not go through.

“Several discussions to sell the tower assets to private equity companies also did not result in any deal. Finally, elder brother Mukesh has come to the rescue as Anil has been put under pressure by lenders to find a mode to repay the debt,” said an industry analyst.

That the deal has come on the birth anniversary of their father Dhirubhai Ambani is an indication that the brothers have buried the hatchet for good and Mukesh’s victory is complete.

Published on December 28, 2017
null
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor