Amazon urges Sebi not to approve Future Retail-Reliance Retail deal
Amazon.com Inc. has written to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to consider the interim judgement of a Singapore arbitration court barring the Future group’s asset sale to Reliance Retail, two people aware of the matter said. The deal is yet to get approvals from various authorities, including Sebi.
Amazon had bought a 49% stake in Future Coupons Pvt. Ltd for ₹1,430 crore in 2019, on the condition that without its consent, Future and its promoters cannot sell any stake or forge any alliance to 30 retail entities, including Reliance Industries Ltd. On 29 August, Reliance Retail acquired Future’s retail and wholesale assets, prompting Amazon to file an emergency arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (Siac). The interim order backed Amazon, restraining Future from going ahead with the ₹24,713 crore sale.
If Future agrees with the interim ruling and pauses the RIL deal, the two entities can mutually decide on the members of the arbitration panel, continue the hearings at SIAC and wait for its judgement. Otherwise, the only option is to approach an Indian court if Future is dissatisfied with the SIAC ruling, or is unwilling to reopen talks with Amazon for bringing in a new investor while calling off the deal with RIL.