Future Retail a “proper party” to ongoing Amazon dispute, Singapore panel rules

Future Retail a “proper party” to ongoing Amazon dispute, Singapore panel rules

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has ruled that Ltd (FRL) is a “proper party” to the ongoing arbitration between Amazon and Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) over Future’s plans to sell its assets to Retail, according to a person familiar with the development.

FRL had been arguing that it has not singed any agreement with Amazon and had maintained that it was FCPL that had signed a shareholder agreement with the US giant while Amazon in 2019 invested about Rs 1,400 crore into FCPL that own about 9.8% in FRL.

However, SIAC ruling has said that there are three different agreements and the agreements “must be read together,” the person said.

In January, FRL had petition SIAC to exclude itself as a party to the arbitration as well as the Indian group had prayed SIAC to remove an October 2019 stay that had restrained FRL from selling its assets to Reliance Retail until a final outcome on the Amazon’s petition.

In July, SIAC had concluded a week-long hearing from both the parties and a judgement to the one of the petitions has come now.

Amazon had moved SIAC in 2019, barely two months after Future Group said it has agreed to sell its assets and business on a slump sale basis to Reliance Retail for Rs 25,000 crore.

After months of legal battle in India – first in the Delhi High Court and then in the Supreme Court – the focus of the case has shifted back to SIAC after India’s apex court ruled that the interim order by SIAC’s 2019 emergency arbitrator is very much valid and enforceable in India. The Supreme Court ruling was a setback for Future Group that had for months argued that the SIAC emergency order was not enforceable in India.

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