Mediation by matriarch Kokilaben Ambani is what prompted India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani to bail out younger sibling Anil at the nick of the moment from a potential jail term.
The brothers were in discussions since February 20, the day the Supreme Court ordered Anil Ambani to pay ₹453 crore to Swedish telecom equipment major Ericsson within four weeks or face a three-month jail term.
“Mukesh came to his younger brother’s rescue to avoid the Ambani family name from being tarnished, and the patching up between the brothers was initiated by their mother. No outsider was involved in the mediation, which happened mainly over the previous four weeks,” a source privy to the talks told BusinessLine.
Earlier, in 2004, when the brothers were locked in a bitter fight, which finally led to the carving up of the Reliance empire into two in 2005, then ICICI Bank chief KV Kamath was believed to have mediated the discussions.
“This time, family name and values came into play. Going forward, the brothers would be looking at similar synergies in their businesses,” another source added.
The younger Ambani, who paid Ericsson its dues on Monday, had thanked the elder brother for “demonstrating the importance of staying true to their strong family values by extending this timely support”.
The family also values tradition, which was also evident during the wedding of Mukesh’s children — Isha and Akash — with the marriages mainly themed around Indian culture. Discussions were on, even though Mukesh was busy with the marriage preparations of his children, sources added.
However, this is not the first time Mukesh has extended a helping hand to Anil. In December 2017, the elder brother had emerged the white knight and announced acquisition of debt-laden RCom through Reliance Jio Infocomm. RJio is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries.
On Monday, RCom and Reliance Industries mutually called off that deal, citing lack of regulatory approvals. As per Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) clauses, fresh bids for a company can only be called by an interim resolution professional.
Having completed the payment obligations to Ericsson, RCom will now move the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal in the next few days seeking resurrection of its case status in the National Company Law Tribunal.
Source: The Hindu