RCom replies to RIL on merger issue

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Mumbai, Jun 14 (UNI) Reliance Communications today said it would vigorously defend any legal action pursued by the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) against its merger talks with South African commnciation major MTN.

In a reply to RIL which had put a spoke on RCom's move to acquire stakes in MTN, RCom has stated that RIL's claim was legally and factually untenable, baseless and misconceived, to be dismissed with the contempt it deserved.

RCom sources said that there was no question of taking note of any alleged rights on RIL's part in the proposed move.

The sources said ''it is regrettable that RIL, for its own vested interests, is only seeking to disrupt the creation of one of the world's most valuable telecom combinations, which would make over a billion Indians proud of our great country.'' They said ''The use of threatening and coercive language by RIL with MTN, a globally-respected telecom major, is very unfortunate.'' The tone of the letter clearly indicated that it was part of a malafide design, with no substance, to simply try and disrupt talks between RCom and MTN, by raising the false bogey of litigation and damages, the sources said RIL's action in sending copies of the letter to a large number of banks and intermediaries, without even first communicating with RCom, further reflects its ulterior and malafide motives, the sources said.

It was also surprising that, without knowing the contours of a possible transaction between RCom and MTN, RIL has jumped to a baseless conclusion that the same is covered by the alleged agreement dated January 12, 2006, which in any case was unilaterally signed only by RIL's officials, the sources added.

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