Family feuds

It seems to be the season for family disputes and India is not the only country seeing this. Reliance Industries has company in South Korea’s Kumho Petrochemicals where two brothers are struggling to take control of the Kumho Asiana Group.

Park Chan-koo, the younger brother was yesterday dismissed as chairman of the group’s petrochemical division in a hastily-arranged board meeting. He has accused his elder brother of, not surprisingly, keeping him in the dark about the top item on the agenda for the board meeting – his dismissal.

Kumho Petrochemicals with a turnover of $2.61bn is involved in synthetic rubbers, synthetic resins and speciality chemicals while the group has interests in the automotive, leisure, logistics and airline sectors.

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Pic by sir_watkyn

The Kumho story has many interesting twists and turns but cannot yet be compared with the epic battle between the Ambani brothers of Reliance which entered a new phase. The latest round involving allocation of gas from the KG basin has seen so many claims and counter claims that it has become difficult to track who has the right to the gas.

Although the matter will be settled by the Supreme Court, the case is being intensely argued out in the media. The issue even rocked the parliament yesterday with calls for resignation of the petroleum minister.

The rapidly escalating battle certainly shown government officials to be inept at managing allocation of gas – a resource that the country desperately short of.

And such feuds only tarnish the reputation of the affected companies.

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