Despite the ongoing dispute with Amazon, Future Group is seeking a swift regulatory approval of a $3.4 billion deal to sell its retail assets. In December, a Court had dismissed Future’s request to restrain Amazon’s repeated attempts to get authorities to stall the deal.
Kishore Biyani, Future Group CEO, told Reuters that the court has already given their view that every institution can take a view on the sale. “So there is no reason why things should be delayed,” he said. The company had earlier warned that failure to close the deal could lead to its liquidation and job losses for more than 29,000 employees.
The global online giant has been at logger heads with the Indian company over its August deal with Reliance Industries Ltd, and has alleged breach of some of its pre-existing contracts with Future. Following the 2019 deal with Amazon, the Indian retailer’s groceries and fashion products are offered on sale on Amazon’s website, while Future stores also act as local warehouses serving the US giant’s food supply chain.
In the interview with Reuters, Biyani pointed out that he had no intention of changing his business ties with Amazon despite the souring relationship. He, however, criticized the global retail giant saying that hew was confused what it wanted to achieve by blocking his deal. “I am disappointed,” Biyani said. “What do they want? They want so many employees to suffer, business to go down?”
Reliance Retail, a unit of Reliance Industries, agreed to buy the retail assets of the Future Group on a slump sale basis for about Rs 25,000 crore in in August 2020. The Competition Commission of India has already approved the deal, which also requires clearance from the Sebi and the NCLT, in addition to NOCs from creditors and minority shareholders.
The global online retail giant asked the Indian stock exchanges BSE and NSE to suspend their review of the deal in light of the ongoing Singapore arbitration. Amazon owns a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons, a Future Group holding company.