Almost nine months later, Future Retail-Reliance deal continues to hang in balance as Supreme Court stays further proceedings with Amazon

Almost nine months later, Future Retail-Reliance deal continues to hang in balance as Supreme Court stays further proceedings with Amazon
Future Retail and Amazon’s fight over Kishore Biyani’s deal with Reliance Retail will now be decided by India’s Supreme Court on May 4.BCCL/BI India
  • Future Retail and Amazon’s fight over Kishore Biyani’s deal with Reliance Retail will now be decided by India’s Supreme Court on May 4.
  • Amazon had moved the Supreme Court against the stay order given by the Delhi High Court.
  • As a breather for Biyani, the company’s lenders have given a nod to a debt recast plan under the KV Kamath committee at the Reserve Bank of India.
Future Retail and Amazon’s fight over Kishore Biyani’s deal with Reliance Retail will now be decided by India’s Supreme Court on May 4. The case, which was brought up in the Supreme Court today, has been adjourned to the later date while a Bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman has put a stay on all proceedings until then.

In March, a single judge bench of the Delhi High Court had upheld the emergency arbitrator’s award in favour of the Jeff Bezos-led company. However, it was stayed again by the Delhi HC. Amazon had then moved India’s apex court against the stay order.

Future Retail’s share price was trading marginally higher at ₹48.65 after the Supreme Court notice.

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Meanwhile, as another breather for Biyani, the company’s lenders have given a nod to a debt recast plan under the KV Kamath committee of the Reserve Bank of India.

“The debt burden has become disproportionate relative to the cash flow generated by the company owing to the multiple lockdowns since the pandemic surfaced, posing significant financial stability risks to the business. Hence, the restructuring of the debt is crucial and essential,” the company had said in a regulatory filing on April 17.

The legal battle between Amazon and Future Group over the latter’s deal with Reliance has been going on for nine months now. In August 2020, Reliance Retail acquired the debt-ridden Future Retail for as much as ₹25,000 crore.

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On October 25, 2020, global e-commerce giant Amazon got a stay order on the Future Retail and Reliance deal from a Singapore arbitrator, and had written to BSE and India’s market regulator SEBI to uphold the decision. Amazon had sent a legal notice to Future Coupons over Future Group’s ₹25,000 crore deal with Reliance. Amazon had said that it was denied the Rights of First Refusal for the deal with Future Group.

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