Future Retail’s Independent Directors Accept Reliance’s Bailout Offer: Report
Moneylife Digital Team 25 January 2022
Independent directors of Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Ltd have accepted the transaction with billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, a unit of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). These directors have told Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings that its offer to provide Rs3,500-crore funding was ’a game of smoke and mirrors’, says a report.
 
Citing a letter written by FRL on 25 January 2022, the report from Business Standard says, “It (Reliance’s offer) helps FRL to meet almost all FRL’s liabilities and in the process helps protect the investment of small shareholders and jobs of over 25,000 employees.”
 
“If you were serious about providing funding to the extent of Rs 3,500 crore within the timeline (in order to repay banks and avoid NPA classification), we would have been happy to engage with you. But it is now clear that your letters were just a game of smoke and mirrors, just to serve your purpose of gaining all the media attention and create media headlines that ‘Amazon is prepared to help’,” the letter says.
 
According to the report, Future Retail has also sent the letter to the directorate of enforcement (ED), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) chairman Ajay Tyagi, and Competition Commission of India (CCI) chairman Ashok K Gupta. 
 
Separately, Future group on Tuesday challenged its lenders in the Supreme Court to avoid facing insolvency proceedings over missing payments, citing its dispute with partner Amazon.com Inc, says a report from Reuters
 
Future “finds itself in a peculiar position where it wishes to comply” with its obligations to lenders, but “the litigation with Amazon is effectively preventing it from doing so,” Future’s counsel Yugandhara Pawar Jha said in the filing, the report says.
 
Earlier this month, Future Retail moved to the Delhi High Court (HC) seeking a direction to declare the ongoing arbitration proceedings by a Singapore panel with Amazon as illegal. In December last year, the CCI had imposed a penalty of Rs202 crore on Amazon and suspended its approval for the e-tailer’s deal with Future Coupons, seeking more information.
 
In August 2020, Kishore Biyani and Future Group had entered an Rs25,000 crore agreement with Reliance Retail. As part of the pact, Future group was to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehouse businesses to Reliance Retail Ventures.
 
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