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Shareholder meet of Future Retail put on hold


NEW DELHI: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday temporarily put on hold Future Retail’s (FRL’s) shareholder meeting for its proposed sale of assets to Reliance Retail after US retailer Amazon objected to it, citing a Supreme Court order. This means further delay for the cash-strapped Big Bazaar parent Future Group, which had announced sale of its assets to Reliance Retail for Rs 24,700 crore. Subsequently, FRL on Monday filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court urging it to put on hold the Singapore International Arbitration Centre’s (SIAC) ruling that has stalled the deal, according to regulatory filings. Initially, slated to be held on November 10 and 11, FRL’s shareholder meeting was deferred to a later date this month after FRL approached the NCLT for the same. In September, the NCLT had allowed FRL to hold the meetings. “Future Group had put in an application for holding the meetings between November 26-30. Amazon stated that post-SC verdict, SIAC tribunal had given an order and the Delhi high court had also refused to grant interim relief, so the meeting cannot be held. NCLT has said till a detailed verdict, Future Group cannot hold meetings temporarily as well,” said a source. In September, the Supreme Court ordered statutory bodies such as NCLT, CCI and Sebi to not pass any orders related to the FRL-Amazon dispute as an SIAC ruling was in the works. In October, SIAC rejected FRL’s plea to lift the interim stay on the deal and made FRL party to the dispute arising out of the agreement between FCPL and Amazon. The NCLT development comes a day after independent directors at FRL, citing alleged FDI and Fema violations by Amazon, urged the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to revoke the approval it had given to the deal between Amazon and unlisted Future Group entity, Future Coupons (FCPL), in November 2019.


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