Future Group companies would convene meetings of their respective shareholders and creditors between April 20 and April 23, 2022 to get their approval for the proposed Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail.
Listed Future Group entities such as Future Consumer Ltd updated the exchanges about the dates of the meetings. The deal would go ahead amid Reliance Retail taking over the operations of at least 300 stores of Future Retail and offering jobs to its employees after the Kishore Biyani-led group failed to make lease payments to landlords.
The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had on February 28 given its go-ahead for convening meetings of shareholders and creditors of respective Future Group companies. The tribunal had also rejected the plea of e-commerce major Amazon, which is contesting Future Group’s deal with Reliance Retail, part of oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries.
The NCLT, in its 16-page order, has directed the meetings of the shareholders of six companies to be held on April 20, 2022. The companies are — Future Consumer, Future Lifestyle Fashions, Future Market Networks, Future Retail, Future Supply Chain Solutions and Future Enterprise Ltd. The meeting of the secured and unsecured creditors of these companies would be held the next day (April 21).
Meeting of secured creditors of other Future Group holding companies, including Acute Retail Infra, Basuti Sales and Trading, Brattle Foods, Chirag Operating Lease Co, Hare Krishna Operating Lease, Nice Texcot Trading & Agency and Nishta Mall Management, would be held on April 22. Meeting of unsecured creditors of the holding companies will be held on April 23.
“The respective Applicant Companies shall send an addendum to the original notices to their respective shareholders, secured creditors and unsecured creditors not later than 20 March 2022 ,” the NCLT order said. Future Retail and other Future Group firms had on November 8, 2021 filed an application seeking further direction for revised dates of meetings. As part of the deal, Future Enterprises Limited (FEL) is the transferee company to Reliance Retail.
Future Group’s 19 companies operating in retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing segments would be consolidated into one entity — FEL — and then transferred to Reliance. In August 2020, the loss-making retail giant proposed to sell its retail, wholesale and logistics arms that included businesses including Fashion at Big Bazaar, Koryo, Foodhall and Easyday to Reliance for Rs 24,713 crore.
However, the deal could not be closed as Future’s warring partner Amazon went to courts citing violation of some contracts. Future denies any wrongdoing. After the deal was stuck in a series of litigations and arbitrations, the long-stop date for the scheme was extended by six months to September 30, 2022 by Reliance, FRL had informed last week.
This is the third extension of timeline by Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), the retail arm of Reliance Industries, for completing its Rs 24,713 crore deal with the Future Group. Earlier, RRVL had extended the timeline from September 30, 2021 to March 31, 2022. The first long stop date was March 31, 2021, which was extended to September 30, 2021.