Reliance Retail extends deadline to complete Rs 24,713 crore deal with Future Group
Reliance Retail Ventures, the retail arm of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has again extended the timeline to complete its Rs 24,713crore deal with the Future group to March 31, 2022.
The deal has been contested by Amazon which holds 49 per cent in Future Coupons which in turn is a shareholder of Future Retail Ltd (FRL).
In a regulatory filing on Friday, Future Retail said Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL) has "extended the timeline for Long Stop Date from September 30, 2021 to March 31, 2022 to which has been duly acknowledged by Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Ltd, wholly owned subsidiary of RRVL".
Earlier, RRVL had extended the timeline for the long stop date from March 31, 2021 to September 30, 2021.
Long stop is a timeframe in which parties agree to complete a transaction by fulfilling all the necessary conditions for the deal.
The development comes after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) allowed Future Group companies to hold shareholder meetings and seek creditor approval for the proposed sale of its retail business to RRVL.
Amazon had filed an application objecting to the NCLT considering the scheme pending completion of its arbitration proceedings against Future Retail.
In September, the apex court had directed NCLT, CCI and Sebi not to pass any final order with regard to the dispute for four weeks.
The scheme of arrangement between Future and Reliance Retail entails the consolidation of Future Group's retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing assets into one entity — Future Enterprises Ltd — and then transferring it to Reliance Retail.
Shares of Future Retail on Friday ended marginally higher at Rs 51.90 on the announcement while Future Enterprises settled higher at Rs 8.99.
After Future entered into a deal with Reliance Industries in August last year, the US retail giant had dragged the Kishore Biyani-led group into arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
In October 2020, an interim award was passed by the Emergency Arbitrator (EA) in favour of Amazon that barred FRL from taking any step to dispose of or encumber its assets or issuing any securities to secure any funding from a restricted party.
While both the parties had filed petitions in domestic courts, recently the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of Amazon by holding that the EA award was valid and enforceable under Indian laws.
Given these litigations, RRVL for the second time extended the timeline for completing the transaction.