Two billionaires who occupy the number 5 and number 6 position in the Forbes World’s Billionaires list and who are brothers are involved in a bitter feud.
I guess the whole world is watching Anil Ambani’s consolidation play merging Reliance Communications with leading player MTN of South Africa. This merger would create the world’s seventh largest mobile operator.
Just as the talks progressed, Mukesh Ambani (elder brother of Anil Ambani) attempted to thwart the consolidation attempt by claiming a right of first refusal should the R-Com shares be sold as per a family agreement arrived at 3 years ago. Since very little is known of the family agreement apart from splitting the various businesses between them, it is difficult to comment on the claims made by the brothers.
Anil Ambani has threatened legal action against his elder brother.
So, what’s this feud all about?
Is it the fact that if the deal comes about Anil Ambani (the younger brother) would move ahead of his brother in the Forbes Annual Billionaire list? As per the Forbes report, Anil Ambani’s fortunes is valued at $42 billion, just a tad shy of Mukesh Ambani’s fortunes at $43 billion.
Is it merely a shadow boxing as there are implications on other listed companies under the two brothers? More importantly what impact it would have in another dispute whether the pricing of gas supply is involved?
The business world has seen its share of sibling rivalry being played out and the Indian business world has seen its fair share. Rather than being able to sort it out within the family environment (apparently both of them stay under the same roof), why have they chosen to enact the drama in full view of the world is something that is beyond my comprehension.
I wonder how the mother Kokilaben who played a major role in dividing the assets between the brothers would make a decision here.
Both brothers are geniuses. As the world waits to see how this would be resolved, I only hope that they don’t spend their time in sibling jealousy, but find a meaningful solution to this issue and other pending issues.
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