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Amazon, Future knock Sebi's door over RIL deal

Wait till final order of Singapore court to clear Future-RIL deal: Amazon to Sebi

Amazon in advanced talks to buy 8-10% stake in Future Retail Representative image

Amazon and Future Retail, who are locking horns with each other over the latter's Reliance Industries deal, have both knocked on Sebi door. While Amazon has the markets regulator to wait for the final order of a Singapore court before clearing the merger of Future group companies, Future Retail has urged Sebi to review and approve its deal with Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd quickly.

According to reports, Amazon, in a letter dated December 21, told Sebi that the Singapore arbitration court’s ruling has been held valid under India’s arbitration law by the Delhi high court and, hence, the Future group’s amalgamation must wait till the Singapore court gives a final judgement.

At the same time, the Kishore Biyani-owned firm has pointed to the Delhi High Court saying that the Future Retail board’s decision to approve the merger of listed entities and sell retail assets to Reliance Industries (RIL) was valid. In view of this, the application for Sebi’s no objection certificate or observations on the scheme to the stock exchanges should be reviewed as soon as possible.

The high court on 21 December allowed Amazon to oppose Future’s asset sale to Reliance but left it to regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), to decide on its validity.

The Delhi High Court's order on December 21 had dismissed Future Retail's plea that sought to restrain Amazon from interfering in its $3.4-billion asset sale deal with Reliance Industries by writing to statutory authorities. The court declined Future Retail's plea for interim order injuncting Amazon from writing to authorities about the arbitral award saying "statutory authorities are free to form their own as per law." 

However,  the single-judge bench of Justice Mukta Gupta held as valid Future Retail's resolution approving its transaction with Reliance. 

Amazon’s attempt to stall the Rs 24,713-crore acquisition of Future group’s assets by Reliance Industries raises the possibility that the dispute may drag on for months, leading to a deterioration in Future group’s retail assets. 

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