FRL shareholders can go for a class-action suit against the promoters of the Future Group for causing loss of their wealth, said Shriram Subramaniam, expert on policy and regulations and Founder, InGovern Research. He made the statement in a Twitter Space discussion hosted by the Plunge Daily on Thursday.
“I say recovery of the 900 odd stores is the first thing and it is not sure as to where and what is the status of these assets because it is almost a year since Future itself disclosed that these assets were handed out to Reliance. As of now, Future group is seeking a dismissal of the Singapore Arbitration Councils arbitration proceedings, where the Singapore arbitration had ruled in favor of Amazon and its investments in the company,” he added.
Advocate Vijay Kulkarni, who has asked SEBI to initiate action in the matter of Future Retail Limited, said that out-of-court settlement between the two parties in the Future Group dispute is the best option for the investors. “Nearly 85 percent of company disputes are solved through mediation. As the litigation is concerned, the best option for both parties is an out-of-court settlement,” he said.
.“I visited Big Bazaar stores in Mumbai. The High Court should consider that if these things are happening, what’s the value of the court? We should at least take possession of the properties in question. At ground level, there is nothing left at Big Bazaar stores. Personally, I don’t feel there was a need to go to the courts,” said Kulkarni.
Vijay Kulkarni, who has made efforts to mobilize retail shareholders in the dispute, said that more needs to be done on the front. “These efforts are very unorganized and not even many people are coming forward. When it comes to collecting this database, contributing money to be paid to councils and advocates, that becomes a very cumbersome process,” he said.
Shriram Subramaniam said the role of the bankers in the whole issue left a lot to be desired. “I would say bankers are guilty because they have not acted quickly in trying to secure these assets. They rejected the offers made now gone with the bidding process. We now have 15 bidders, but it’s not even clear as to how long this bidding process will last and the level of interest of these bidders,” said Subramaniam.
Vijay Kulkarmi said most investors have to come together to have any credible solution to the issue. “The point is if there is a fresh representation to the Supreme Court, it would take a lot of effort. We can only make circumstantial observations, but we can’t predict the legal outcome of the case and work with what we have,” he said.