Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) is to begin its final hearing from July 2 on a plea filed by e-commerce major Amazon against the Rs 24,713 crore deal between Future Group and Reliance Industries, according to a regulatory filing by Future Consumer Ltd (FCL) on June 26.
A tribunal was constituted by SIAC for arbitration proceedings related to the Future-RIL deal on January 5, 2021, FCL said in the filing.
The statement noted that “Future Retail Ltd (FRL) has filed two applications before the Tribunal, first being an application challenging the jurisdiction of the Tribunal; and second being an Application for vacation of the EA (Emergency Arbitrator) Order”.
In August 2020, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd had announced that it would acquire the retail and wholesale business, as well as the logistics and warehousing business of Future Group for Rs 24,713 crore. The scheme of arrangement entails the consolidation of Future Group’s retail and wholesale assets into one entity — Future Enterprises Ltd — and then transferring it to Reliance Retail.
The deal has been intensely contested by Amazon, an investor in Future Coupons, which in turn, is a shareholder in FRL, since the announcement.
In August 2019, Amazon had agreed to purchase 49 per cent of Future Coupons Ltd (which owns 7.3 per cent equity in FRL through convertible warrants), with the right to buy into the flagship Future Retail after a period of three to 10 years.
In its filing statement on June 26, FCL pointed out that both FRL and Amazon have challenged each other’s position relating to the deal in various courts of India and the matter is sub-judice and currently pending with Indian courts.