Amazon moves SC against Delhi HC order on Future-RIL deal

The US e-commerce giant, while asking for a stay, says it will suffer an irreparable damage in its business in India as it indirectly owns about 3.5 per cent stake in Future Retail

Amazon has termed the Delhi HC’s March 22 order as illegal. Photo: PTI

E-commerce giant Amazon has moved the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court’s division bench order that allowed Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group to proceed with its ₹24,713 crore asset sale deal with Reliance Industries Ltd, Mint reported.

Future Group had announced the ₹24,713 crore deal to sell its retail and wholesale assets to Reliance Retail on August 29, 2020. However, Amazon, which had bought 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons in 2019 for ₹1,500 crore said its deal with Future prevents Biyani’s company from selling shares of Future Retail to RIL as it indirectly owned about 3.5 per cent stake in Future Retail.

In its petition, Amazon has termed the high court’s March 22 order as “illegal”, “random”, inequitable and unfair, while asking the apex court to grant a stay on the order to prevent Amazon from suffering an “irreparable” damage in its business in India.

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Also read: Retail war: Amazon says Future Group broke pact by signing Reliance deal

A division bench of the Delhi High Court on March 22 granted Biyani a reprieve from the March 18 single-judge bench order that froze his assets and restrained the group that he founded from taking any steps to sell its assets to Mukesh Ambani’s RIL.

On March 18, Delhi high court’s justice JR Midha imposed a monetary penalty on Future Group for breaching an arbitration order passed by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October, which has restrained Future Group from taking any step towards the deal with RIL. The court had also ordered the attachment of Biyani’s assets and served a show-cause on the group for possible detention of Biyani.

Also read: SC notice to FRL, others on Amazon plea against HC direction for status quo on Future-Reliance deal

On the other hand, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail Ventures has extended the timeline to complete its ₹24,713 crore deal with the Biyani-led group for six months. Future Retail in a regulatory statement confirmed Reliance Retail has extended the timeline for the ‘Long Stop Date’ from March 31, 2021 to September 30, 2021. The deal has been opposed by Jeff Bezos-led Amazon, and both Future and RIL are facing legal hurdles in sealing the deal.

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