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Anil Ambani seeks reconciliation before family feud goes to court

Anil Ambani, the millionaire head of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, has called for reconciliation with his estranged brother Mukesh Ambani, the head of Reliance Industries, in an ongoing feud over gas prices.
 
In a statement released yesterday Anil said: "I sincerely believe that Mukesh and I can, even at this late stage, sort out all our disagreements, in a constructive, cordial and conciliatory manner, if we both commit to getting this done.
 
"The issues are only a handful, and the facts are well known. My judgement says that they can all be resolved in a matter of weeks, and will not require several months of discussions.
 
"Accordingly, I am once again reaching out to Mukesh - and hope and pray that my feelings will be reciprocated, and we will arrive at a solution to all outstanding issues, with a generous heart, a willing mind, and an accommodating spirit," Anil said.
 
In response Reliance Industries said that the dispute was "not merely a family matter" and that it was "saddening and perplexing" that reconciliation was sought through "the public domain".
 
Anil's plea comes just a week before the brothers are due to go to court over the dispute that has lasted four years.
 
The disagreement springs from the difficulties the brothers had in splitting their father's business empire after he died leaving no formal succession plan in place.
 
Anil and Mukesh inherited their father's Reliance Group upon his death in 2002, however they decided to split it into two separate companies in 2005. During the split it was agreed that Mukesh's Reliance Industries would supply below-market-price gas to Anil's company. However, Mukesh resisted the agreement and the dispute eventually ended in court in June 2008. The court ruled in favour of Anil and the family agreement was upheld.
 
In a further complication, the government threw the ruling into doubt in July when it questioned the right of the family to set prices among themselves. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)
 
The court case, due to start on 20 October, will make the final decision on the legality of the brothers' agreement.
 
The Ambani brothers are two of the most successful businessmen India has produced but they have taken more headlines for their feuding than their business acumen. Mukesh is worth an estimated $19.5 billion while Anil is worth approximately $10.1 billion. 

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