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Anil move triggers RIL rush

Mumbai, Aug. 4: Anil Ambani’s sneak surprise has galvanised Reliance Industries into action.

Yesterday, the younger Ambani scion had spilled the details of the share swap ratio that had been informally decided for the de-merger of the Reliance group. It forced Reliance Industries to call a board meeting on Friday to discuss the de-merger scheme.

Mukesh had been looking to go through the de-merger process at a measured pace: he had lobbed the issue to five advisers who had been asked to go into the technical aspects surrounding the issue. The Reliance board was supposed to meet after the advisers submitted their report.

Anil wanted fast action so that the process ' which would require shareholder and court approvals ' could be completed by March 2006.

In a notice to the stock exchanges issued today, the RIL secretariat said a meeting of the board of directors would be held on August 5 “to consider the scheme relating to the proposed de-merger of power, financial services and telecommunication services”.

Share prices of the Reliance group entities involved in the de-merger process rose sharply today even as marketmen digested the announcement from the Mukesh camp.

The Mukesh camp had been stunned by Anil’s parting short where he leaked the share swap ratio for the de-merger even before the RIL board had the opportunity to debate the plan and put its stamp of approval on it.

It now remains to be seen whether the board will announce the same share swap ratio as announced by Anil, who is technically an outsider now, but is perceived as an interested party to the de-merger. The three de-merged entities ' Reliance Capital, Reliance Energy and Reliance Infocomm ' will come under his management control.

At the AGM yesterday, Mukesh had announced that five advisory firms ' Crisil, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, Amarchand Mangaldas and Suresh A. Shroff & Co and JM Morgan Stanley ' would help in working out the details of the de-merger.

It is not known whether the board will have the benefit of the advice from the five firms when it meets on Friday.

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