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Future-Reliance deal: Future Group challenges Delhi HC order halting its deal in dispute with Amazon

Kishore Biyani, CEO and founder of Future Group (REUTERS)Premium
Kishore Biyani, CEO and founder of Future Group (REUTERS)

  • The Delhi high court on Tuesday put a hold on Future Group's the 24,713-crore retail deal with billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries
  • Amazon had filed an urgent petition last week seeking detention of Future Group founders, including its promoter Kishore Biyani

Future Group on Wednesday has challenged the Delhi high court order that has halted sale of its to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on objections retail giant Amazon, the company said in regulatory filing. "Further to our letter dated 2nd February, 2021, please be informed that the Company has filed an appeal before Hon’ble High Court of Delhi against the impugned order dated 2nd February, 2021 passed by Ld," Future Group said.

The high court on Tuesday put a hold on Future Group's the 24,713-crore retail deal with billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries. The court ordered Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail Ltd to maintain status quo on the assets until “the pronouncement of the reserved order".

The global retail giant Amazon had filed an urgent petition last week seeking detention of Future Group founders, including its promoter Kishore Biyani, and seizure of their assets for violating the tribunal order. It mentioned that the Future Group's deal with Reliance Industries violates its investment agreement with Kishore Biyani's firm that barred the company from selling its assets to Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate among other specified entities.

The tribunal passed an interim order favouring Amazon in October, barring Future Retail from taking any steps to sell or encumber its assets.

The Delhi high court said it was of the prima facie view that the Singapore tribunal order, which asked Future Retail to not proceed with the deal, is enforceable in India.

On 21 December, 2020, a single member bench of the Delhi high court had rejected Future Group's plea to restrain Amazon from writing to regulatory authorities about the SIAC (Singapore International Arbitration Centre) arbitral order but gave a go-ahead to the regulators to decide over the deal.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had approved the Future-Reliance deal in November, and the Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi) gave its conditional nod last month.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd in August acquired the businesses of Kishore Biyani's Future Group for 24,713 crore to add to its fast expanding retail business. Amazon had also approached market regulator Sebi, stock exchanges and CCI, urging them to consider the arbitration order and not approve the deal.

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