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Deal on hold, Future Retail plans to challenge arbitration

  

Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail(FRL) plans to challenge the arbitration award from the Singapore-based arbitration center before Indian legal forums. This will ensure that its Rs 24,713 crore deal proceeds unhindered. The company is examining the interim order passed by the Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) in the arbitration proceedings invoked by Amazon under a shareholders' agreement with the promoters of Future group.

Operator of the Big Bazar and Easy Day retail chain, FRL, does not agree with Amazon’s reasons for invoking the arbitration proceedings. It said, all relevant agreements are governed by Indian Law and provisions of Indian Arbitration Act for all intents and purposes which raises several fundamental jurisdictional issues. Amazon had earlier slapped a legal notice on Future Group, alleging the retailer's Rs 24,713 crore asset sale to Reliance Industries violated an agreement with the e-commerce giant. On August 29, 2020, the Future group had announced sale of its retail, wholesale and logistic, etc to Reliance Retail Ventures retail arm of the Reliance Industries.

Amazon, last year, had bought a 49 per cent stake in one of Future's unlisted firms, Future Coupons, with the right to buy into flagship Future Retail after a period between three and 10 years. Future Coupons owns a 7.3 per cent stake in Future Retail.

Singapore-based single judge arbitration panel has put Future Group's Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL) on hold. The decision was made after Amazon initiated arbitration against Future group for failing to abide by its commitment to purchase 49 per cent of one of Future’s unlisted firms. The arbitration process may take a couple of months. Amazon’s investment is just about Rs 1,500 crore in Future Group. There were also reports that Amazon is also interested in Reliance Retail

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