UPDATE 1-India's Mukesh Ambani, D E Shaw close to JV-report

Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:56am EDT

* Tie-up to enable Ambani to offer energy, carbon trading

* No financial terms available - paper (Adds details, background)

MUMBAI, June 30 (Reuters) - Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani is close to signing an equal joint venture with U.S. private equity and hedge fund giant D.E. Shaw to enter the financial services sector, the Economic Times reported on Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The tie-up will enable the Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani group, whose flagship is Reliance Industries (RELI.BO), to offer services like energy and carbon trading and related derivatives, the newspaper said, citing one of the sources.

It will also participate in sectors such as private equity and mutual funds, the other source told the newspaper.

No financial terms were available and it was not clear whether the joint venture would be set up under Reliance or held directly by Ambani, the report said.

Reliance Industries declined to comment. A front-desk attendant at DE Shaw's office in northern India said there was no one available for comment.

Mukesh Ambani and his long-estranged younger brother Anil recently scrapped a pact that forbade them from competing on the other's turf, opening up sectors to the elder Ambani including telecoms and financial services.

Mukesh has been widely expected to enter the financial sector since he and his brother ended the non-compete pact in May.

A source familiar with the matter has told Reuters Ambani is in talks to buy a majority stake in JM Financial Asset Management, which oversees $1.8 billion in assets. [ID:nSGE64U03D]

At 0650 GMT, shares in Reliance were trading up 1.8 percent at 1,086.60 rupees in a Mumbai market that was up 0.3 percent. (Writing by Tony Munroe and Pratish Narayanan; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.