India’s feuding billionaire Ambani brothers call a truce

MUMBAI, May 23, 2010 (AFP) – India’s warring billionaire Ambani brothers, who have battled in court over gas supplies, on Sunday called a truce and scrapped their contentious business pacts signed in 2006. Reliance Industries, led by Mukesh Ambani, and Reliance ADAG, led by Anil Ambani, pledged in a statement to create “an environment of harmony” between the two corporate groups.

The Ambanis have been at loggerheads since the Reliance empire was split in two in 2005.

Cancellation of the 2006 non-compete agreements, under which the companies undertook not to work in the same sector, would give greater “operational and financial” flexibility to both groups, they said in the statement.

Two weeks ago the Indian Supreme Court ruled in favour of Mukesh Ambani, the country’s richest man, in his long-running feud with Anil over a family deal to share the nation’s largest gas find.

In a landmark decision, the court threw out a deal between the estranged siblings involving access to the Krishna Godavari Basin off India’s east coast in a move hailed by Mukesh’s lawyers and the government.

The two groups will negotiate fresh gas-supply arrangements, in line with the court’s direction,