Competition panel clears RIL bid for Bharti's AXA stake

In its first ruling on a mergers and acquisitions case, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has cleared a Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) proposal to buy out the Bharti Group's 74-per cent stake in an insurance joint venture with AXA of France.

The commission has approved the proposal by the Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd (RIIL) to acquire 74 per cent in each of the two joint venture companies, Bharti AXA Life Insurance Co Ltd and Bharti AXA General Insurance Co Ltd, from Bharti entities, CCI officials told sections of the media anonymously.

In fact they seemed rather proud of their quick clearance. ''We have cleared the case in just 14 days. The case came to us on 8 July, we cleared it on 26 July.

There was no competition issue in the deal so we cleared it quickly. There was a delay of four days due to documents and other things but we took only 14 days to clear it,'' officials told the Indian Express.

The competition watchdog reviewed the documents submitted by RIL and RIIL and determined that the combination isn't likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition.

The Bharti entities, according to the order, comprise Bharti Ventures Ltd, Bharti Enterprises Ltd and Bharti Overseas Pvt. Ltd.