At the most recent hearing in the lawsuit, the court gave Future Group a few weeks to obtain the suspension order, despite Amazon reportedly preparing a bailout plan for Future Retail.
The Delhi Supreme Court informed Future Group on August 17 that the court, unless it was made by the 17th The Hindu reported.
Both Reliance and Amazon are trying to expand their online and offline retail offerings. Reliance tries to take over Future Retail for this, while Amazon tries to prevent this deal. The Future Group vs. Amazon litigation has been running since October 2020.
Future Group vs Amazon: Brief Timeline of Events
November 2019 –Amazon acquired 49 percent of the shares in Future Coupons, a promoter company that owns approximately 7.3 percent of the shares in Future Retail.
August 2020 – Reliance announced that it will take over the majority of the Future Group’s retail, wholesale and logistics operations, valued at Rs.24,713 billion. Amazon protested the Reliance deal in October 2020, saying its agreement with Future Coupons included a competition-style pact and a right of first refusal over deals with rivals such as Reliance Retail.
October 25, 2020 – Amazon has received an emergency arbitration award from an arbitration tribunal in Singapore against the Future Retail Reliance deal.
March 18, 2021 – A single judge, judge JR Midha of the Delhi High Court, upheld the Singapore emergency arbitrator’s order against the Future Group, put the Future Reliance deal on hold and seized the property of the Future Group and its promoters Kishore and Rakesh Biyani. The court has also ordered Future Retail and its promoters to pay 20 lakh costs into the PM Cares Fund.
March 22, 2021 – A department bank of the Delhi Supreme Court has suspended the March 18 order that allowed the Future Reliance deal to continue. Amazon appealed this suspension to the Supreme Court.
August 6, 2021 – The Supreme Court ruled in Amazon’s favor by accepting its appeal against Delhi HC’s March 22nd order that made the deal between Reliance and Future Retail possible. The court also ruled that Amazon’s Singapore-based arbitration award from the emergency arbitrator in India can be legally enforced.
Aug 12, 2021 – Future group filed a petition on special leave to the Supreme Court against the March 18 order, pending hearing. An SLP can be submitted against otherwise incontestable orders.
A full timeline of events can be found at the end of the article
What happened in Delhi HC?
The court heard on Tuesday Amazon’s plea for the enforcement of the single judge order of March 18. Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who represents Amazon, argued the order was effective following the August 6th Supreme Court ruling. Future Group said it filed a request for special leave with the Supreme Court against the March 18 order.
After hearing the two sides’ arguments, Judge Suresh Kumar Kait said that in the absence of a Supreme Court stay, he had no choice but to enforce the March 18 order, The Hindu reported. “Either order a stay within 2-3 weeks on March 18th or keep it. This court has no third option, ”the judge said, according to the report.
The Future Group has also filed a motion with the Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) for the emergency arbitrator’s award to be set aside. The SIAC ruling is expected to be announced later this month.
Amazon a rescue plan for future retail?
Accordingly mint, Amazon is reportedly preparing a bailout plan for the insolvent Future Retail if the Reliance Future Deal fails.
“Right now, Future has to take care of its fees and raise enough working capital. Amazon stands ready to save the Future Group by raising enough capital if Future continues to partner with Amazon under the contract between Future Coupons and Amazon signed in August 2019, ”said one person who led the internal discussions at Amazon knows, opposite Mint.
“Ultimately, Amazon plans to attract more investors, including private equity funds, to participate in the capital injection into the Kishore Biyani-led group that faces the dire prospect of bankruptcy if the SIAC ruling is violated.” another person told Mint.
Future Group vs. Amazon: Full Schedule
August 2019 – The submissions have shown that Amazon would like to acquire a 49% stake in Future Coupons – the promoter of Future Retail. Future Coupons owns 7.3 percent of Future Retail, which operates 900 stores in India, including 293 Big Bazaar stores. If the deal goes through, Amazon will acquire a 3.58% stake in Future Retail.
November 2019 – The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Amazon’s proposed acquisition of 49% of the shares in Future Coupons.
August 2020 – Reliance Industries (RIL) announces that it will purchase the majority of the Future Group’s retail, wholesale and logistics operations, valued at Rs.24,713 billion.
October 7, 2020 – Amazon accuses the Future Group of breach of contract and has slapped them with a legal notice about the Future Group Reliance deal. Amazon reportedly had a peer-to-peer pact and a right of first refusal on deals with rivals such as Reliance Retail.
October 25, 2020 – Amazon has obtained an injunction against the Future Reliance deal from an arbitration tribunal in Singapore, but the Reliance Group and Future Retail have publicly stated that they will proceed with their deal “without delay”.
November 2, 2020 – Future Group urged the exchanges to ignore Amazon’s objections to the Reliance deal as the emergency suspension of the transaction received by Amazon from the Singapore International Arbitration Center had no legal force in India.
November 7, 2020 – Future Group is suing Delhi Court against Amazon’s interference in Reliance acquisition.
11/11/2020 – Amazon accuses Future Group of insider trading, saying Reliance Retail was improperly informed of the Singapore arbitrator’s order.
11/20/2020 – Despite protests from Amazon, the Indian Competition Commission cleared Reliance Retail’s acquisition of Future Group’s retail, wholesale, logistics and warehouse operations for 24,713 billion yen.
December 21, 2020 – The Delhi High Court said that while the court would not prevent the Future Reliance deal, it would not prevent regulators from making their own assessment of the legality of the deal.
January 20, 2021 – The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) gave the green light for the Future Reliance deal.
March 18, 2021 – A single judge of the Delhi High Court confirmed the emergency arbitration decision against the Future Group obtained in Singapore and thus put the Future Reliance deal on hold. The judge confirmed that the purchase violated an agreement signed between Amazon and Future Coupons, an investor company of Future Retail Limited. The court found that Future Group had agreed to veto Amazon on transactions such as the acquisition of Reliance Retail, but did not keep that promise. The Supreme Court also ruled that Future Retail must put Rs 20 lakh into the PM-CARES fund and that the company’s executives must answer why they shouldn’t be jailed.
March 22, 2021 – A department bank of the Delhi Supreme Court suspended the March 18 order. Amazon is appealing this suspension order to the Supreme Court.
July 9, 2021 – The Supreme Court rescheduled the hearing to July 20, following the final hearing in Singapore’s Arbitration Court, which began on July 12.
July 21, 2021 – The Supreme Court began hearing arguments from Future Retail and Amazon.
July 23, 2021 – CCI accused Amazon in a letter dated Jan.
July 29, 2021 – The Supreme Court reserved his judgment on the matter.
August 6, 2021 – The Supreme Court ruled in Amazon’s favor by accepting its appeal against Delhi HC’s March 22nd order that made the deal between Reliance and Future Retail possible. The court ruled that Amazon’s Singapore arbitration ruling from the emergency arbitrator in India could be enforced.
Aug 12, 2021 – Future group filed petitioned the Supreme Court for special leave against the March 18 order, pending hearing.
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