Future Retail may challenge order stalling deal with RIL
Says deal with RIL in line with Indian laws, not party to agreement with Amazon
New Delhi: Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail on Monday hinted that it may challenge the interim order, wherein a Singapore arbitration court has directed to hold its deal with Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL). On Sunday, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre restrained Future Retail and its founders from going ahead with the sale until a final decision is given.
In a statement, Future Retail said that all the relevant agreements are governed by Indian law and provisions of the Indian Arbitration Act for all intents and purposes and "this matter raises several fundamental jurisdictional issues which go to the root of the matter."
"Accordingly, this order will have to be tested under the provisions of Indian Arbitration Act in an appropriate forum," it said. It further said that Future Retail is examining the order.
The arbitration panel, in an interim order, has directed the Future Group not to proceed with the deal with Reliance Retail for now.
Future Group said that the deal with Reliance Retail is in consonance with Indian laws. It's not a party to the agreement under which Amazon has invoked arbitration proceedings. The company said that it will take all appropriate steps to ensure that the proposed transaction proceeds unhindered without any delay.
On Sunday evening, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), in a statement, said that it has entered into the transaction for acquisition of assets and business of Future Retail Ltd under proper legal advice and the rights and obligations are fully enforceable under Indian law.
"RRVL intends to enforce its rights and complete the transaction in terms of the scheme and agreement with Future group without any delay," it said.
An Amazon spokesperson had said: "We welcome the award of the Emergency Arbitrator. We are grateful for the order which grants all the reliefs that were sought. We remain committed to an expeditious conclusion of the arbitration process."
In a major turn of events in the buyout of the businesses of the debt-laden Future Group by Reliance Retail, Amazon.com earlier this month stepped in and said that Future Group violated a contract with it by entering into the sale agreement with the Mukesh Ambani-led retail major.
Last year, Amazon acquired a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons, a Future group entity. In August, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), a subsidiary of RIL, announced that it is acquiring the retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing business from the Future Group as going concerns on a slump sale basis for lumpsum aggregate consideration of Rs 24,713 crore, subject to adjustments as set out in the composite scheme of arrangement.
The acquisition is part of the scheme in which the Future Group is merging certain companies carrying on the aforesaid businesses into Future Enterprises Ltd (FEL)