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NCLT grants 90 days extension to Future Retail for concluding insolvency

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Allowing FRL’s plea the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has extended the deadline to July 15, 2023, for concluding the CIRP of FRL

New Delhi: The NCLT has granted Future Retail Ltd (FRL) an extension of 90 days for concluding the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) of the company.

Allowing FRL’s plea the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has extended the deadline to July 15, 2023, for concluding the CIRP of FRL.

“… NCLT on April 13, 2023, heard the application and granted the said exclusion of 90 days from CIRP of FRL and consequent extension for completion of CIRP till July 15, 2023,” said a regulatory filing from the company.

This order was pronounced orally by NCLT on April 13, 2023, and a “written order is awaited”, FRL added.

The CIRP was initiated against FRL by NCLT on July 20, 2022, following loan default.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) time frame for resolution is 330 days, inclusive of the time taken for litigation.

As per Section 12(1) of the Code, the CIRP shall be completed within a period of 180 days from the date of initiation. However, NCLT may grant a one-time extension of 90 days. The maximum time within which CIRP must be mandatorily completed, including any extension or litigation period, is 330 days.

Last week, FRL informed that they have received an Expression of Interest (EoI) from 49 players, including Reliance Retail, Jindal Power Ltd and Adani Group for acquiring the assets of FRL.

On March 23, 2023, the resolution professional (RP) of FRL invited new expressions of interest, where prospective buyers can bid for the debt-ridden firm “as a going concern or individual cluster or a combination of clusters of its assets”, as it failed to attract a resolution plan in over four months.

Earlier, it had received EoI and finalised 11 prospective bidders, including Reliance and April Moon Retail, but could not get a resolution plan despite two extensions in the deadline for submissions.

The Committee of Creditors had provided two options in the EoI, for which the last date for submission was April 7, 2023.

In the first option, the Prospective Resolution Applicant (PRA) could bid for the acquisition of Future Retail as a whole, including its shareholding interest in its subsidiaries. While under the second option, Future Retail’s business has been distributed in five clusters diving business, in which PRAs can bid for “any individual cluster or any combination of clusters.”

As per the invitation, FRL currently has access to 302 leased retail stores spread across 23 states and Union Territories, consisting of 30 large format stores such as Big Bazaar and FBB stores and 272 small format stores.

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