Ambani brothers' fued over MTN takes new turn

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Mumbai, July 3 (UNI) In a major development, the Ambani brothers' today claimed that they were ready to settle the dispute arising over the MTN deal but both brothers claim that the other is not ready to come on the negotiating table.

In a statement released here this late evening, Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries Limited said that they had called on Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group owned Reliance Commmunication for dispute settlement by sending a letter to them as well as to the target company MTN.

According to RIL spokesperson, the letter had been sent long back but RIL till date had not received any response from the other side.

RComm meanwhile claims that they had already sent the reply but RIL are not ready to accept the reply.

''Reliance Industries has written to Reliance Communications, and MTN boards again. It has invited RComm for conciliation talks as per 2006 non-compete agreement and asked for conciliatory meeting before formal arbitration process,'' RIL spokesperson said.

When contacted RComm spokesperson said RIL's reference to an agreement dated January 12, 2006, is misleading, as RComm has written to RIL the very same day, and rejected the unilateral procedure adopted for finalising such agreements as being illegal, but they are deliberately not recieving the letter. The Bombay High Court has upheld this stand by a judgement delivered on October 15 2007.

''RIL's claim is entirely malafide and baseless, and is simply an unfortunate reflection of its bitter corporate rivalry,'' he added.

The Union Cabinet of Ministers, based on an opinion by the Attorney General of India, and various Supreme Court decisions, has firmly taken the view that any restrictions on the free transfer of shares in an Indian public limited company, even if present in its Articles of Assocation, are illegal and unenforceable, as per Section 111A of the Companies Act, 1956. On that basis, RIL's claim is meaningless, he stated.

RIL's position is even worse, as its alleged right of first refusal is not even incorporated in RComm's Articles of Association, he added.

UNI PP GS AG2315

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