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The board of Future Enterprises Ltd (FEL) is set to meet on Saturday to approve the impending sale of Future Group’s retail assets to Reliance Retail, people familiar with the development said, seeking anonymity.

The board will meet on 29 August “to consider and evaluate proposals to raise funds by way of issuance of bonds, including debentures, non-convertible debt instruments, securities and/or, any other instruments , securities such as private placement or any other permissible mode or any combination thereof, as may be decided by the board and subject to such statutory or regulatory approvals as may be necessary, including the approval of the shareholders of the company, wherever required", FEL said in a notice to stock exchanges on Wednesday. FEL is the group’s back-end infrastructure arm.

Reliance is set to acquire some of India’s leading retail formats, including Big Bazaar, Fashion at Big Bazaar, Easy Day and Brand Factory, which will give the oil-to-telecom conglomerate an edge in the retail market. The deal will include retail, logistics, and warehousing assets.

Reliance Retail runs several retail formats such as grocery, electronics, and apparel.

Mint had reported that a deal between the two companies, pegged at 27,000 crore is set to be finalized. The deal amount includes Reliance taking on a significant chunk of the group’s debt and trade payables to vendors.

The deal could give Reliance Retail greater hold in the modern trade market with an additional 1,700-1,800 stores spanning fashion, lifestyle, and grocery segments.

Mint had also reported that five listed entities, including Future Retail Ltd, Future Consumer, Future Lifestyle Fashions, Future Supply Chain and Future Market Networks, will be merged into FEL before the company sells the retail assets to the retail subsidiary of RIL.

The deal comes at a time when Future Group, founded by Kishore Biyani, has accumulated heavy debt over the years. As on 30 September 2019, debt at Future Group’s listed companies increased to 12,778 crore from 10,951 crore as on 31 March 2019.

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