Reliance Industries Ltd. unveiled details of its plan to spin off its holdings in its telecommunications, energy and finance affiliates, and said it intends to spend $5.7 billion to double capacity at one of its refineries.
India's largest private-sector company said it would give its investors shares in each of the separate businesses as it moves toward breaking up the Reliance Group between Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani and his younger brother Anil. After a six-month public battle over control of the $23 billion empire they inherited when their father died three years ago, the Ambani brothers decided in June to divide control of the group companies. They decided that Mukesh Ambani would control the flagship company Reliance Industries as well as Indian Petrochemicals Corp., while Anil Ambani would head the group's new businesses in energy, telecommunications and finance.
In the first public step to untangle the cross shareholdings among the more than 400 group companies, Anil Ambani said all Reliance Industries shareholders would get shares in the companies in his part of the divided empire.
For every 100 Reliance Industries shares held, investors will receive seven shares in Reliance Energy Ltd. and five shares in Reliance Capital Ltd., both of which are listed. For every 100 shares held, investors also will receive 100 shares in Reliance Communication Ventures, a company that will be created to manage all of the Reliance group's telecommunications investments, including leading Indian cell phone company Reliance Infocomm Ltd. and international network Flag Telecom Holdings Ltd.
Reliance Industries holds 43 percent in unlisted Reliance Infocomm, 47 percent in Reliance Energy and 45 percent in Reliance Capital. Anil Ambani said the new telecommunications holding company will have a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.4 to 1, and he plans to list it before April.
"The restructuring as I had publicly advocated was accepted [by the Reliance board] and I personally believe it will unlock shareholder value," he said.
Shares of Reliance Industry, India's largest private-sector company by sales and market value, fell 3.8 percent, to $16.39, yesterday.
Analysts and investors said the spinoff ratios seemed fair and should benefit investors now that the high-growth, high-value telecommunications business will be unbundled from the group's petrochemical and refining businesses.
"By virtue of being a Reliance Industries shareholder, you are now able to get the value of these [other] companies," said Dhiraj Sachdev, portfolio manager at ASK Raymond James Securities (India) Pvt. Ltd. in Bombay. "The sum of the parts is greater than the whole."
Younger brother Anil Ambani gets energy, telecommunications and finance businesses.