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Ambani acquisition reopens old wounds

An acquisition by a leading member of one of India's most powerful business-owning families has thrust a fractious sibling relationship back into the limelight.

Mukesh Ambani (pictured), chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, the giant petrochemical manufacturer, has won an auction to be part of a major revolution in the game of cricket. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has sold the rights to eight teams in a newly created Indian Premier League, which will showcase the shortened Twenty20 version of the game.

Ambani successfully bid $111.9 million for the Mumbai team, beating off stiff competition from leading businessmen and Bollywood actors. However, his younger brother, Anil, was one of three losers from the 11 companies that entered the fray. Anil is chairman of Reliance ADAG Group, part of the wider Reliance empire.

The Ambani brothers have a history of feuding that became public knowledge when they clashed over the leadership of the family business in 2002. A classic power struggle ensued, with further bad publicity for both the family and the business, until a settlement was made with the help of outside mediators in March 2005.

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