New Delhi: Forget weekends. It is business and days of big announcements on Sundays for industrialist Anil Ambani, contrary to golf and get-togethers for the rest of the corporate world.
While 18 June 2005 -- the day of separation for Anil from Mukesh Ambani with the division of the Reliance empire -- was a Saturday, it was a Sunday five years later on 23 May 2010, when he announced a patch-up with his elder brother, burying their contentious non-compete agreements.
Since then, there has hardly been a Sunday when he did not pull out his top lieutenants and officials from the comfort of their homes to do business and engage the media for a big exposure in Monday newspapers before the stock markets commence trading for the new week -- a trend that group officials feel is a legacy from the days of his father, Dhirubhai.
Even during the bitter fight with Mukesh, before and after the family settlement, invariably big news came out from ADAG on Sundays -- based on the belief that a lean business day could help get better space in the media.
Commenting on the trend, brokerage firm SMC Global vice- president Rajesh Jain, said: “The group probably tries to play safe so that the announcement does not impact the stock prices with a sudden jerk.
“Announcements on a market holiday usually are considered safe, as traders get time to absorb the under-currents of the announcements and then react when the market opens on the next day,” he added.
Today also, again a Sunday, boards of two Anil Ambani group companies, Reliance Power and Reliance Natural Resources Ltd, met in Mumbai to decide on their merger.
On the previous Sunday -- 27 June -- the group announced a big-bang Rs50,000 crore merger deal of RCom’s tower assets with GTL Infra to create the world’s largest telecom tower firm.
Earlier on 20 June 2010, the Anil Ambani group announced a joint venture between Reliance Broadcast Network with US media giant CBS for capturing the television market in the country.
In the same month, RCom announced on 6 June, again a Sunday, that the company was looking for buyers to purchase a 26% stake in the company.
Exactly a week before, Anil had gone to Tirupati on 30 May, staying en route at Mukesh’s guest house, to seek the deity’s blessings for the peace that was ushered in between the two brothers after their years-long bitter rivalry.
The decision for his group’s only IPO, that of Reliance Power, was also taken on a Sunday -- 30 September 2007.
As part of the efforts to revive R-Power shares that tanked despite being India’s biggest ever IPO at over Rs11,500 crore, Anil Ambani again announced on a Sunday (25 February 2008) the issue of free bonus shares.
It was again a Sunday (9 May 2010) when Anil wrote a morale-boosting letter to his all group employees post the Supreme Court judgement that ruled against RNRL’s petition to get gas from RIL as per a family agreement.
In the mid of a years-long legal fight over gas, on yet another Sunday (11 October 2009), Anil made a passionate appeal for peace with Mukesh, though the very same day, RIL said the litigation was not a family matter.
The group insiders and the regulatory filings by various companies under the fold show many board meetings and key decisions having taken place on eventful Sundays.