Delhi High Court Agrees To Hear Future Retail Petition Against Singapore Tribunal’s Order
The Delhi High Court has agreed to hear Future Retail Ltd.'s petition against the Singapore-based arbitral tribunal‘s order in its fight against Amazon.com Inc.
Future Retail approached the Delhi High Court against an order by the arbitral tribunal that declined to vacate the status quo on its Rs 27,513-crore transaction with Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd.
On Friday, the high court bench of Justice SK Kait declined the request by Senior Advocate Harish Salve, representing Future Retail, to record that the Supreme Court’s order will continue to be in effect. Last month, the apex court had allowed procedural steps for the Reliance deal while saying the final approval cannot be given.
In its appeal before the high court, according to a regulatory filing, Future Retail sought:
Staying and setting aside the operation of the arbitral tribunal’s order upholding the status quo on the transaction.
Allowing the company to conduct meeting of shareholders and creditors as directed by the National Company Law Tribunal earlier this month.
The high court has asked for a reply to be filed on Future Group’s petition within four weeks. The matter will come up in January next year.
Future Group vs Amazon: Story So Far...
In October last year, an emergency arbitrator granted an interim award in favour of Amazon. The emergency arbitrator was set up as part of the arbitration dispute between Future Coupons Pvt. and Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC.
In 2019, Amazon had invested in Future Group entities—acquiring a 49% stake in Future Coupons—promoter entity of Future Retail. Future Coupons holds 9.82% in Future Retail.
At the time, Future Coupons and Future Retail had also entered into a shareholder agreement. The tribunal's order which has been appealed by Future Retail was the outcome of pre-arbitration hearings that took place in July this year.
The arbitral tribunal, which will hear the main dispute between the two companies, declined to vacate the emergency arbitrator’s order earlier this month. The tribunal also held Future Retail to be a party to the main dispute between Future Coupons and Amazon.
The application seeking the vacation of the emergency arbitrator’s order was filed by Future Group.
As per information available to us, FCPL and the promoters have also filed an appeal before the Delhi High Court seeking to set aside the said impugned order dated Oct. 21, 2021.Future Retail's Regulatory Filing
Meanwhile, Amazon has petitioned the Supreme Court against the NCLT’s ruling that allowed Future Group firms to meet with creditors to seek approvals for the deal.
The main hearing on whether there's been a contractual breach by Future Group, as alleged by Amazon, is likely to commence in November this year.