Future Retail Seeks To Defer Shareholder Meet For Reliance Deal
The Mumbai Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal on Monday granted Future Retail Ltd. a temporary stay on the meeting of its creditors and shareholders.
The meetings were scheduled on Nov. 9 and 10 to seek approval for the scheme of arrangement between 20 Future Group entities, including six listed companies, with Reliance Retail Ventures, Reliance Retail Ltd. and Fashion Lifestyle Ltd.
Future Retail had approached the tribunal seeking to defer the meetings between Nov. 26 and Nov. 30. The company cited the volume of notices to be sent to shareholders as the key reason for the ask. The creditors, too, want the meeting to be deferred and a bandh (lockdown) is expected across Maharashtra on the scheduled dates of the meetings, the company told the NCLT.
Objecting to Future Retail's application, Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC argued that the Supreme Court in September had directed statutory bodies such as NCLT, Securities and Exchange Board of India and Competition Commission of India to refrain from passing any final orders. Therefore, the shareholders' and creditors' meetings cannot be held, Amazon submitted.
Senior Advocate Arun Kathpalia, appearing for Amazon, said Future Retail cannot file this application. "They can only seek a stay on the meeting or cancel the meeting."
"How can a meeting be cancelled?" argued Advocate Musthafa Doctor for Future Retail. "We only seek a modification of the previous order of NCLT."
Instead of deferment, the NCLT bench comprising judicial member Suchitra Kanuparthi and technical member Anuradha Bhatia suspended the meetings till the matter is finally heard. "Till a detailed verdict, the meetings may be stayed."
In September, the tribunal had allowed Future Retail to convene a meeting of its shareholders and creditors for consolidation of its entities, the first step in its ultimate sale to Reliance Retail.