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Who owns L&T? No Ambani or Birla hand, says Naik

Press Trust of India Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018

am-naik

At his last annual shareholders’ meeting as the head of L&T group, AM Naik on Thursday made an oblique but strong reference to takeover bids by Ambanis and Birlas years ago and asserted that the engineering giant is only owned by the government, employees and public shareholders.

“Excuse me, please listen. There is nobody else as a shareholder, neither Reliance nor Birla. This is totally owned by the Government of India and the employees. And, of course, one million shareholders like you. Please don’t talk out of turn,” Naik told a shareholder while addressing the group’s infotech arm LTI’s AGM here. The statement came as a retort to the mention of the late Dhirubhai Ambani by one of the shareholders who was trying to impress the longevity of his holding in the group since 1984, long before Reliance acquired L&T shares.

In 1987, the late Ambani had managed to wrest sufficient holding in the cash-rich L&T and then launched a hostile takeover bid in 1989. However, political and other developments ensured Reliance becoming a passive shareholder. In 2001, it attempted to sell its over 10 per cent stake to Aditya Birla group’s Grasim, L&T’s competitor in the cement business.

Published on August 24, 2017

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