The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi) approval for Future Retail’s $3.4 billion deal with Reliance Industries is subject to court decisions, said Amazon on Thursday.
The market on Wednesday approved Future Group’s scheme of arrangement and sale of assets to Reliance. Based on this, the Bombay Stock Exchange also granted its “no adverse observation” report to the deal.
“The letters issued by BSE and NSE (National Stock Exchange) clearly state that comments of Sebi on the ‘draft scheme of arrangement’ (proposed transaction) are subject to the outcome of the ongoing Arbitration and any other legal proceedings,” said Amazon. “We will continue to pursue our legal remedies to enforce our rights.”
In August 2020, Future Group struck a $3.4-billion asset sale deal with Reliance Industries (RIL). Amazon then sent a legal notice to Future, alleging the retailer’s deal breached an agreement with the American e-commerce giant.
Sebi has allowed the deal with some riders. It has reportedly said the litigation pending before the Delhi High Court and arbitration proceedings by Amazon contesting the deal should be specifically mentioned by Future Group while seeking shareholders or the National Company Law Tribunal approval. It has also reportedly held that Sebi’s go-ahead on the draft scheme of arrangement would be subject to the outcome of these proceedings.
Equipped with the notice from the Delhi High Court, Amazon this month had sent another letter to the Sebi, requesting it not to issue a ‘no-objection certificate’ (NOC) to the Future Retail-Reliance Industries deal and suspend the review immediately. The e-commerce firm has further urged the markets regulator to direct the Indian Stock Exchanges to not to issue no-objection or approval letter to Future Retail.
This month it also informed Sebi about the formation of the arbitration tribunal at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). The next phase of arbitration proceedings between Jeff Bezos-led Amazon and Kishore Biyani-headed Future Group is expected to begin soon in Singapore, according to the sources.