Reliance Industries to back Future Retail’s operations

RELIANCE

MUMBAI : Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has agreed to extend operational support to Future Retail Ltd to prevent its collapse while its ?24,713-crore deal to buy the cash-strapped retailer’s assets awaits approval from a company law tribunal, two people directly aware of the matter said.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which was due to announce its ruling on Tuesday, adjourned the case until 15 March.

The Mukesh Ambani-led company has also extended an internal deadline for completion of the purchase by six months to accommodate for delays caused by a legal battle between Future Group and Amazon.com Inc., the people said on condition of anonymity, citing legal sensitivity. Firms usually set aside 3-9 months, depending on the transaction’s complexity, to secure regulatory approvals.

“Due to the ongoing legal battle with Amazon, it is impossible to get all the regulatory nods before May, which is why the deadline has been extended further by at least six months,” said one of the two people cited above.

Some of Future Retail’s lease agreements for stores have, however, been transferred to Reliance to ease the burden on the troubled retailer and avoid defaults.

“The lease/rental agreements with a number of landlords for several Future Group retail, Big Bazaar and fbb stores in some of the metro cities and tier-II locations have already been transferred in the name of Reliance Industries Group companies from Future Group,” said the first person.

Spokespeople for Reliance Industries, Future Group and Amazon India didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.

News Source:- Livemint

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