Future: RIL extends deadline to complete Future buyout

Future: RIL extends deadline to complete Future buyout

Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) has extended the long-stop date for completion of its deal with Future Group by another six months to March 31, 2022, as its closure has been delayed due to a legal battle with Amazon. Long stop refers to the timeframe in which all deal conditions are met and the transaction is completed.

RRVL, a unit of Reliance Industries, agreed to buy the retail assets of Future Group on a slump-sale basis for about Rs 25,000 crore, it was announced in August last year, with a long-stop timeline of March 31 this year. It was extended by another six months in April earlier which ended on Thursday.

“Pursuant to the provisions of Scheme and other transaction documents executed in relation thereto, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) has in exercise of the right provided thereunder, 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 Limited, wholly owned subsidiary of RRVL,” Future Retail said in a statement.

The deal is dependent on the final order of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. Amazon, which owns a 49% stake in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL), a Future Group holding company, had objected to the deal and approached the arbitration court in Singapore, which said it should be suspended pending a final decision.

Amazon says it has the right of first refusal and its pact with Future had barred any sale of assets to entities including Reliance.

Over the past one year , the transaction has also been the subject of dispute in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court. Earlier this week, the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Tuesday allowed Future Group’s application to convene a meeting of its shareholders and creditors for approval of its deal with Reliance Retail.

The Supreme Court, last month, directed statutory authorities including NCLT, Competition Commission of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India not to pass any final order related to the merger deal for next four weeks.

Reliance has extended crucial support to normalise Future Group’s businesses — consumer goods firm Future Consumer and apparel manufacturing company Future Enterprises have received large orders from Reliance Retail, helping it to stay afloat while Reliance is now a key supplier of Future Retail for grocery products sold at Big Bazaar and EasyDay.

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