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What major asset did the Ambani brothers sell in their respective companies?

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Possibly the country’s most famous brothers – The Ambani brothers, Mr Mukesh and Anil Ambani have decided to sell an asset each in their respective companies – the Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Ltd. and Anil Ambani led Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. However, the sale of these assets have nothing to do with each other’s companies and are going to be done for very different reasons.

Beginning with the older brother – Canadian investor Brookfield Asset Management Company, which has significant investments in renewable power, among others, is set to acquire the East West Pipeline, earlier known as Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure for 13,000 crore ₹.

The Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) owned 1,400 km pipeline transports natural gas (which is widely used in generating electricity and for fuelling massive power plants). The pipeline connects Kakinada on the eastern Andhra coast to Bharuch in Gujarat on the west coast and was built to transport natural gas produced by RIL and British Petroleum (BP) in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin off the east coast to western India. Reliance Industries has massive blocks in the KG basin from which it transports this natural gas, and the pipeline is also connected to other operators like Gas Authority of India (GAIL) & Gujarat State Petronet for delivery of gas to other parts of India.

However, owing to a drop in natural gas production, the pipeline was reportedly operating at only 5% of its total capacity and was running in losses. For F.Y. 2018, the total revenue generated by it was 884 crore ₹ and it racked up a net loss of 715 crores. Reliance has a total outstanding debt of 13,715 crores against the project.

What is pegged to be a game changer is the fact that 3 major projects are expected to begin in the KG Basin belt which together have around 3 trillion cubic feet of discovered gas resources, where companies are investing about 40,000 crore ₹ and this can change the fortunes of the pipeline operator.

The deal is structured such that Reliance will be entitled to transport a certain amount of gas against any outstanding unutilised capacity payments and will be entitled to participate in the net earnings of the pipeline. Add to that, RIL will also get the right to buy back the pipeline at the end of 20 years for a value of 50 crore ₹.

 

While the monetising of Mukesh Ambani’s pipeline project seems to be a good business decision, younger brother Anil Ambani’s asset sale is one that is brought about by need.

The Anil Ambani led Reliance Infrastructure (R-Infra) has entered into a binding agreement with Singapore-based Cube Highways & Infrastructure for sale of 100% stake in the Delhi-Agra Toll Road. The total proceeds expected from this deal is little over 3,600 crore ₹ (roughly 517 million $) and in addition, arbitration claims pending with National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to the tune of 1,200 crores for the project, if won, will flow directly to Reliance Infrastructure.

R-Infra will utilise the proceeds of this transaction entirely to reduce its debt, which will be slashed by 25% to less than 5,000 crores. The developer has a road portfolio of around 11 assets including the Delhi-Agra project, which it is looking to divest in line with its strategy of monetising all non-core businesses.

Shares of R-Infra slipped nearly 4% intraday after the announcement, and has been in the red ever since, till the close of today’s trade as well.

Sports

Dhoni opens up on 2013 IPL fixing scandal, asks what did players do to go through all of that

Anil Rajpurohit

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New Delhi | What mistake did the players make, asked Mahendra Singh Dhoni, opening up on a phase of life made “most difficult and depressing” by the 2013 IPL fixing scandal.

The two-time World Cup winning captain broke his silence in a docudrama aptly titled ‘Roar of the Lion’, which focuses on the scandal that rocked Indian cricket and the ensuing fairy tale comeback by Chennai Super Kings following a two-year suspension for its management’s role in spot-fixing.

“2013 was the most difficult phase in my life, I was never depressed as much as I was then. The closest was 2007 World Cup when we lost in the group stages. But all said and done, 2007 happened because we did not play good cricket.

“But 2013, the angle was completely different. People are talking about match-fixing and spot-fixing. It was the most talked about thing in the country,” Dhoni said in the first episode titled ‘What did we do wrong’? broadcast on Hotstar.

Dhoni, who led the CSK to three IPL titles, said they knew a “harsh punishment” was on the cards.

“We did deserve the punishment but the only thing is the quantum of the punishment. Finally we got to know that CSK will be banned for two years. There was a mixed feeling that time. Because you take a lot of things personally and, as a captain, question what did the team do wrong,” Dhoni stated.

“Yes there was mistake from our side (the franchise) but were the players involved in this? What mistake did we, as players, do to go through all of that?”

Recalling the torrid time when insinuations and allegations flew thick and fast, Dhoni said fixing a match requires the involvement of the majority of players.

“My name also came up in talks of fixing. They started showcasing in the media or social media as if the team was involved, I was involved. Is it possible (in cricket)? Yes it is possible, anyone can do spot-fixing. Umpires can do that, batsmen can, bowlers can… but match-fixing needs the involvement of the majority of the players.”

For Dhoni, who has always preferred to go about his job quietly even when leading the Indian team, his silence may have been misunderstood.

“The problem when people think you are very strong, is that more often than not, nobody comes and asks: how are you doing. It was more of how I dealt with it.

“I did not want to talk about it to others, at the same time it was scratching me. I don’t want anything to affect my cricket. For me cricket is the most important thing.”

In a trailer of the documentary recently, Dhoni had called match-fixing a bigger crime than murder.

“Whatever I am today, whatever I have achieved is because of cricket. So the biggest crime that I can commit personally is not murder. It’s actually match fixing because it doesn’t get restricted to me. If I’m involved in such a thing, it has a bigger impact.

“If people think a match is fixed because the outcome of a match is extraordinary, then people lose their faith in cricket. I don’t think in my life I would deal with something that is tougher than this,” he said.

Dhoni had not commented on the turmoil before this. In July 2015, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the cash-rich league for two years for betting activities by their key officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra during the 2013 season.

On his silence post the episode, Dhoni said, “What makes it even tougher is that, as the Indian captain you keep going to press conferences. There is a known line that is drawn that that was the IPL and this is the Indian cricket team.

“It’s not easy to keep performing at the top level when these things are on your mind. Ten years down the line, no one is going to remember what was said in a press conference but how the team did.”

While he agreed that then BCCI chief N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Meiyappan was part of the team setup, Dhoni said, in what capacity, is open to debate.

“Initially, when Guru’s name came up, (we knew) he was part of the team, all said and done. But in what capacity, that is debatable. Was he the owner, the team principal, the motivator… what exactly was he?

“I don’t know if anyone from the franchise introduced Guru to us as the owner… we all knew him as the son-in-law.”

The punishment was handed down by a Supreme Court- appointed three-member committee headed by former CJI R M Lodha, which held that the betting activities brought the game of cricket, BCCI and IPL into disrepute.

Lastly, Dhoni called his association with CSK is “like a match made on matrimonial site an arranged marriage”.

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National

Salman Khan believes right kind of education can solve Kashmir dispute

Anil Rajpurohit

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Mumbai |Salman Khan believes right kind of education can heal the conflict-ridden Kashmir Valley.

Salman’s upcoming home production “Notebook” is a love story set in Kashmir featuring newcomers Pranutan, daughter of actor Mohnish Bahl, and Zaheer Iqbal. In the film, Pranutan and Zaheer play the role of school teachers.

Asked if education can bring a positive change in the Valley, Salman said in an interview, “Everyone gets an education, but getting the right one is more important.”

In an indirect reference to February 14 terror attack in Pulwama that claimed lives of 40 CRPF soldiers, the actor said, “(The person) who did it (the attack) even he was given education but his tutors, teachers and principles were wrong…

“When we heard about that, it just killed us. This film’s backdrop is exactly the same that the kids come and leave the gun.”

Salman, 53, was talking on the sidelines of a media interaction held for “Notebook” on Wednesday night. The film hits cinema houses on March 29.

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National

Madras HC sentences nine to life imprisonment in ‘Dinakaran’ office attack case

Anil Rajpurohit

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Madurai |The Madras High Court Thursday convicted nine people to life imprisonment in a case related to the attack on the office of Tamil daily ‘Dinakaran’ here in 2007 in which three men were killed.

Gopinath, Vinoth and Muthuramalingam were killed in the attack on May 5, 2007.

On December 9, 2009, all the 17 people arrested in the case were acquitted of murder charges by a CBI special court.

Later, the CBI, which investigated the case, and Vinoth’s mother filed an appeal.

A bench of justices P N Prakash and B Pugalendi of the high court’s Madurai bench sentenced ‘Attack’ Pandi, Vijaya Pandi, Kandasamy, Ramaiah Pandian, Prabhu, V Sudhakar, Thirumurgan, Ruban and Malik Batcha to three terms of life imprisonment.

Cases were filed against them under the Explosives Act and charges of causing damage to properties and murders.

The judges also sentenced them to five years of rigorous imprisonment under under the act.

The sentences would be run concurrently.

‘Attack’ Pandi is, at present, lodged at the Palayamkottai Central Jail for the murder of ‘Pottu’ Suresh.

The judges directed that the eight others should be arrested immediately and sent to jail.

They also directed that Rs 5 lakh each should be given as compensation to families of the three deceased people.

The court has decided that a DSP, Rajaram, was also an accused in the case, and directed him to appear before the court on March 25, the bench said.

Saravanamuthu, another accused, died during the trial.

Regarding the seven others, the bench said they would undergo five years of imprisonment under the Explosives Act and on charges of causing damage to properties and murders.

Three employees of the daily were killed in the attack on the office following the publication of a survey which gave an edge to the then deputy chief minister and DMK president late M Karunanidhi’s son M K Stalin over his brother and then Union minister M K Alagiri to succeed their father.

The CBI, after a long delay of over four years, had filed the revision petition in 2014.

Of the 17 convicts acquitted by the district and sessions court here in December 2009, 11 had been arrested after the bench issued non-bailable warrants as they failed to appear for hearing of the appeal.

Another convict, Dayamuthu, is absconding and stated to be staying somewhere in Malaysia, while the others have obtained bail.

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