Posts tagged 'Anil Ambani'

Ambani peace accord − here’s the document

Mukesh and Anil, India’s billionaire Ambani brothers, have been at each other’s throats for years. They spilt the family business in 2005 and have feuded ever since.

Now, quite suddenly, Mukesh has agreed to use his younger brother’s fibre optic network for the launch of a new broadband telecoms venture. The initial contract is worth 1,200 crore rupees, which translates into about $220m. Read more

UBS banker ‘backed illegal vehicle’

A senior UBS private banker allegedly sanctioned the creation of an illegal offshore investment vehicle for one of India’s most powerful businessmen, saying that Anil Ambani’s status as a “mega-client” could justify waiving the rules, a London tribunal has been told. The FT says the claim, contained in email evidence submitted to the hearing this week, has been made in a case brought against two of UBS’s former wealth management executives by the UK’s financial regulator. The evidence shows that Kurt Kumschick, the Swiss bank’s recently deceased former marketing head for wealth management in the India-Pacific region, told two junior colleagues that whether the bank should create the Mauritius-based investment vehicle for Mr Ambani would be a “business decision” if the bank could not confirm its legality under Indian law. Mr Kumschick died this week, according to UBS officials. His estate has no representation at the tribunal.

London tribunal hears Ambani fund case

Two UBS bankers tried to create an offshore vehicle through which one of India’s most powerful businessmen could illegally invest in securities at home, according to evidence heard in a London tribunal. The FT says Anil Ambani, whom bank executives described as a “mega-client”, was the ultimate owner behind a Mauritius-based vehicle called Pleuri, the tribunal heard. Pleuri was established with the specific objective of investing in Indian stocks, according to evidence presented by the UK’s financial regulator in a case against the former head of UBS’ London-based India desk. Indian nationals and companies are not permitted to invest in Indian securities through foreign institutional investors. The details emerged in the case of Sachin Karpe, former head of the desk that managed Indian client portfolios at UBS’s wealth management division in London. Mr Karpe is challenging a £1.25m fine from the FSA.

India questions second tycoon

Indian anti-corruption officials have questioned a second tycoon in as many days, as a probe into a multibillion-dollar telecoms scandal reached into the highest echelons of the business elite, reports the FT. Prashant Ruia, the billionaire chief executive of energy and shipping conglomerate Essar Group, was questioned by investigators on Thursday amid a widening probe into the allocation of mobile network licences in 2008, a person close to the company said. On Thursday, shares in Reliance Communications continued their slide on reports that Anil Ambani, its billionaire chairman, had also been questioned.

India corruption scandal spreads

Indian anti-corruption officials have questioned a second tycoon in as many days, as a probe into a multibillion-dollar telecoms scandal reached into the highest echelons of the business elite, reports the FT. Prashant Ruia, the billionaire chief executive of energy and shipping conglomerate Essar Group, was questioned by investigators on Thursday amid a widening probe into the allocation of mobile network licences in 2008, a person close to the company said. On Thursday, shares in Reliance Communications continued their slide on reports that Anil Ambani, its billionaire chairman, had also been questioned.

Ambani questioned in Indian probe

Shares in India’s Reliance Communications dropped another 3% to Rp96.75 in Mumbai trading on Thursday after billionaire chairman Anil Ambani was questioned by Indian federal investigators in a widening probe into the awarding of mobile-phone licenses in 2008, reports Bloomberg. The FT earlier reported that Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh had agreed to face a parliamentary investigation into a spiralling corruption scandal that has paralysed the world’s largest democracy. Singh said on Wednesday he was prepared to answer questions from legislators about alleged irregularities in the award of 2G telecoms licences. An official audit, claiming the scandal cost the government $39bn, has rocked a fast-growing sector that attracted investments from some of India’s top business magnates.

Ambani’s $2.6bn worth of negative publicity

It’s more diabolical than any dark scenario of a Bollywood plot. As India’s stock market investors watched in disbelief, Anil Ambani saw a whopping $2.6bn wiped off the value of his Reliance ADAG group of six publicly-traded companies in a single day on Wednesday.

In response, an angry – but rather helpless – Ambani has added charges of “vicious and illegal bear-hammering” of stocks, rumour-mongering and scare tactics to the growing controversy over India’s recent corruption scandals Read more

China woos India, Ambani gains loans

Two Indian companies controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani gained $3.04 bn in financing commitments from a consortium led by Chinese banks, helping one of them ease immediate debt pressures and the other to secure funds for a power project, reports the WSJ. Reliance Communications on Wednesday said it signed a $1.93bn syndicated loan arrangement with China Development Bank and other institutions to mainly refinance short-term debt it took on to build its 3G telephone network. The FT reported that the deal came as China’s premier Wen Jiabao arrived in New Delhi for a state visit. In a separate report, the FT says the Reliance deal is the latest in a series of loan agreements between Indian industrialists and Chinese banks, which offer cheaper credit than Indian institutions.

Reliance $9bn deal collapses

A landmark deal designed to help Reliance Communications, India’s second-largest mobile operator, reduce debt and draw suitors has collapsed amid speculation about a dispute over price, reports the FT. The $9bn deal, under which Reliance Communications was to sell its tower assets to Indian group, GTL Infrastructure, was aimed at preparing industrialist Anil Ambani’s flagship company for a possible stake sale to Gulf rival Etisalat. The WSJ quotes one analyst suggesting GTL was unable to raise the debt needed to fund the deal.

Ambani shares rise on ‘peace deal’

The peace deal announced by India’s warring brothers, Mukesh and Anil Ambani, sent their companies’ stock prices soaring on Monday. The end of their five-year feud will free up the siblings to pursue plans for big projects in oil and gas, telecoms, power generation and retail in India and overseas, according to the FT.

Anil Ambani goes hostile

Anil Ambani, the billionaire owner of India’s Reliance ADAG, has sparked a bidding war for Fame India, a film distributor in a country where hostile takeovers are rare.

Reliance MediaWorks has offered to buy 62 per cent of Fame, which had previously agreed to sell itself to local multiplex cinema operator Inox Leisure. In fact Inox now owns just over 50 per cent of Fame. Read more

India probes UBS accounts

A near-record fine imposed on UBS, the Swiss bank, by UK regulators is part of an unfolding investigation into the past management of Indian private banking accounts, including two linked to the tycoon Anil Ambani, the FT has learned. The India-related activity – over which UBS was penalised £8m last week – has triggered an Indian government probe into possible misuse of the bank’s accounts, while the UK’s FSA watchdog is investigating the conduct of former UBS employees. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Ambani or his Reliance group.

MTN could quit Reliance talks

South Africa’s MTN is considering walking away from a tie-up with Reliance Communications of India because of fears an acrimonious spat between the Indian telecom operator’s owner and his brother could leave the deal open to legal action. A person familiar with the talks on Sunday said he expected MTN and Reliance to extend their exclusive talks for another two to three weeks after a 45-day period expires on Tuesday. However, there is no indication that extra time alone would be sufficient to resolve the feud.

Ambani eyes majority MTN stake

A consortium led by Indian billionaire Anil Ambani is considering taking a majority stake in South African mobile operator MTN to help stave off a potential legal challenge from his elder brother, Mukesh Ambani, to the deal under discussion. The new structure represents a sharp departure from the original proposal for the tie-up between MTN and Ambani’s Reliance Communications, India’s second largest mobile operator. Under the proposed new structure, a special purpose vehicle controlled by Anil Ambani with co-investment from global private equity and Middle East sovereign wealth funds would own 51% of MTN. The change means the period of exclusivity covering Ambani’s talks with MTN is likely to be extended two to three weeks from the 45-day period, due to end next Tuesday.

DreamWorks in talks with Reliance

Steven Spielberg and the founders of the DreamWorks studio are in talks with India’s Reliance Big Entertainment about financing their new film venture, in a move that will see DreamWorks end its three-year association with Paramount Pictures, the Hollywood studio owned by Viacom. The deal could be sealed within six weeks. News of the negotiations with Reliance, controlled by Anil Ambani, the billionaire industrialist, caught Viacom – which bought DreamWorks in 2005 – by surprise. Lex says the Ambani saga would make a passable B movie. Beneath the glamour of the deal, however, is a nascent, and probably rather naive, business plan.

Ambani aims to keep Reliance stake

Anil Ambani, the Indian businessman, hopes to remain a major shareholder in both Reliance Communications, his mobile phone operator, and South Africa’s MTN after the pair combine in a reverse takeover, reports the FT. Under the proposals, Ambani would swap about two-thirds of his 66% stake in Reliance for shares in MTN and retain a stake of 20-25% in the Indian cellular carrier. He would pay an extra $4bn-$5bn cash to bring his MTN stake to 34.9%. If MTN accepts Ambani’s proposal, it would end up with about 51% of Reliance. Meanwhile, reports Bloomberg, Ambani has hired Deutsche Bank’s former head of Indian equities, Keshav Sanghi, to start an institutional brokerage – Reliance Equity International.

Reliance eyes private equity tie-up

Anil Ambani, the billionaire Indian industrialist, is considering linking up with private equity groups on his bid to gain a powerful foothold in South African mobile operator MTN. Private equity groups have expressed interest in supporting Ambani’s plan to swap all or most of his majority stake in his Indian company, Reliance Communications, for up to 34.9% of MTN. Ambani did not need significant sums of money as the deal would mostly be funded through the share swap, said a person close to the situation, adding that he might, however, consider involving a buyout firm that “shared his vision”, to form a longer-term partnership to pursue future opportunities.

Ambani seeks control of MTN

A possible merger of Reliance Communications of India and South Africa’s MTN could see Anil Ambani become the enlarged group’s chairman and biggest shareholder with a stake of almost 35% in what would be one of the world’s largest telcos. Ambani, chairman of Reliance, is pushing for a controlling position in the merged entity, although the deal could be structured as a reverse takeover by MTN. Reliance, India’s second largest mobile phone operator, has been in exclusive talks since Monday with MTN, Africa’s largest wireless company, about the possibility of Ambani swapping most or all of his 66% stake in Reliance for MTN shares, at a premium that values MTN’s equity at more than R175 ($23) a share. Read details of the offer at FT Alphaville, and a separate FT analysis of the potential tie-up.

Ambani’s MTN control trick

Indian billionaire Anil Ambani is ready to pay a “significant premium” to win effective boardroom control of MTN in the complex merger plan currently being negotiated by the South African mobile telecom group and Mr Ambani’s Reliance Communications, FT Alphaville has learned.

Stock market operators in Johannesburg and Mumbai may have misunderstood the terms of the putative deal – presented as an MTN takeover of Reliance, leaving Mr Ambani with a minority stake in the enlarged entity. Read more

India’s Reliance Power crashes on day one

Trading in Reliance Power, India’s biggest stockmarket listing, kicked off on Monday in what was widely seen as a vital test of sentiment in the sub-Continent. The $3bn float, completed at the peak of India’s four-year bull run in mid-January, sold out within a minute of opening and made its controlling shareholder, industrialist Anil Ambani, potentially the richest Indian. But since then the Sensex index has fallen about 16 per cent and last week two initial public offerings collapsed. And, on Monday, in chaotic trading shares in Reliance were well below their offer price before recovering later in the session.

Against a sale price of 450 rupees, the market quote fell to R389, soared to R599, and then fell back again to R437.

Reliance riches boost Ambani

Record investor response to the planned float of Reliance Power in India has propelled Anil Ambani, the company’s controlling shareholder, ahead of his brother Mukesh Ambani, as well as steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal to become the richest Indian in business. By late Friday, investors had subscribed for 73 times the shares available in Reliance Power, underlining the scarcity value of the listing, which will be almost a required holding in any Indian equity portfolio. The float, scheduled next month, will help Reliance build a power generation network across India. But it will also increase Ambani’s net worth to an estimated $58bn. Reliance Power is listing just over 10% of its shares at Rs450 each on the Indian stock market in February to raise $3bn. The flotation will value the company at about $30bn and Ambani’s interests at about $13.5bn. He indirectly controls about 45% of the company. The offering attracted so many millions of orders that it could test the country’s listing application processing system.