Future Group Seeks to Lift Block on Asset Sale to Reliance, Marketing & Advertising News, AND BrandEquity
Future Retail has asked a Delhi court to overturn a decision by a Singapore arbitration panel that kept the $ 3.4 billion sale of Future’s retail assets in limbo while the panel hears the objections of Amazon.com Inc.
Amazon has taken legal action against Future’s planned asset sale to market leader Reliance Industries since last year, accusing the company of violating certain contracts in doing so. Future denies any wrongdoing.
Last year, a Singapore arbitrator suspended the Future-Reliance deal, and the panel last week rejected Future’s request to revoke the ruling. On Wednesday, Future asked the Delhi High Court to intervene and overturn the arbitrator’s decision under Indian law, according to his legal record seen by Reuters.
“The arbitral tribunal wrongly rejected FRL (Future Retail) ‘s assertion,” its case said. “FRL maintains that the standards applied by the arbitral tribunal (…) are incorrect.”
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Future is India’s second-largest retailer with more than 1,700 stores and has warned that failure to secure the deal with Reliance could push it into liquidation.
The dispute began when Future, crippled by an economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic, struck a deal last year to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and some other businesses to Reliance.
Amazon intended to own some of Future’s retail assets on its own. He argued that a 2019 deal he made with a Future unit contained clauses prohibiting the Indian group from selling its retail assets to anyone on a “restricted” list that included Reliance.
The outcome of the fight between two of the world’s richest men, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani, is seen as reshaping India’s pandemic-stricken shopping industry and deciding whether Amazon can blunt the dominance of Reliance in the country’s nearly trillion dollar retail market.