When it finally did, it came as a bolt from the blue. There were speculations that it would be announced on July 6, 2005, Dhirubhai Ambani's death anniversary. Or, in front of thousands of shareholders when the group's flagship, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), held its annual general meeting in mid- or end-July. But the truce between the two warring Ambani brothers, Mukesh and Anil, came over a weekend—June 18, 2005, a day with no particular significance. The agreement, too, didn't hold any surprises. Mukesh got RIL and IPCL, and Anil got the telecom venture, Reliance Energy and Reliance Capital (see graphic).
For those who had followed all the twists in the seven-month-old public battle between the two siblings, the division signified the end of a family brawl. For others, who were insightful enough, it indicated the beginning of fresh battles the two would have to fight in the near future. Not just against each other, but also against competitors and policymakers. Observers believed that it signified the beginning of a new era, where both the brothers had to grapple with critical issues that could prove to be turning points for their respective businesses.