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Future-Amazon tussle reaches Supreme Court, FRL says ‘will defend the matter’

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Amazon has approached the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order that vacated the status quo on Future Group’s proposed Rs 24,713 crore-deal with Reliance Industries.

In a filing to stock exchanges, Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Ltd has said that it “shall defend the matter/proceedings through its legal counsels”.

“The company’s advocates are in receipt of communication dated February 13, 2021 from advocates of NV Investment Holdings LLC (Amazon) informing that Amazon has filed a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court of India against the captioned order dated February 8, 2021 passed by the Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi,” FRL said in the filing.

Amazon had moved the Supreme Court in a bid to block Future Group’s deal with Reliance after the Delhi High Court stayed a previous order of status quo on the deal. The court had also said that statutory authorities cannot be restrained from acting in accordance with law as per a report by news agency PTI.

The scheme of arrangement related to the Future-Reliance deal has already received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and no objection from market regulator Sebi as well as bourses. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai was approached for approval of the deal on January 26, 2021.

Last month, Amazon had approached the Delhi High Court seeking enforcement of the interim order of the Emergency Arbitrator (EA) at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) that had restrained FRL from going ahead with the deal with Reliance.

The court had directed FRL and other parties to maintain status quo on the deal and the same was stayed later. Amazon had invested in Future Coupons in August 2019, with an option of buying into the flagship FRL after a period of 3 to 10 years.

In August last year, Future Group had entered into a Rs 24,713-crore deal with billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s RIL to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units.

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