Stay On Future Group-Reliance Deal To Continue, Singapore Tribunal Holds
The Singapore arbitral tribunal dismissed Future Group's plea to vacate the stay granted by the emergency arbitrator on its deal with Reliance Industries Ltd.'s retail unit.
In October last year, the emergency arbitrator directed Kishore Biyani’s Future Group to put its transaction with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd. on hold after a challenge by Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC.
The arbitral tribunal, constituted under Singapore International Arbitration Centre, said it is satisfied that the orders of the emergency arbitrator's award were correctly granted, and have not been vitiated by any subsequent events or proceedings, according to stock exchange disclosure by Future Retail Ltd. on Friday.
Future Group has "not demonstrated that circumstances have materially changed to justify any change to the EA Award." - SIAC Arbitral Tribunal
Post this decision, both the pre-arbitration challenges raised by Future Group have now gone in favour of Amazon.
On Wednesday this week, the tribunal concluded that Future Retail is a party to the dispute which arose from the agreement between Future Coupons Pvt. and Amazon.
Each of the parties, including Future Retail, is bound by the arbitration agreement under the Future Coupons shareholder pact, notwithstanding its non-signatory status. And the arbitration agreement extends to disputes under the Future Retail shareholder and share-subscription agreement, the tribunal said in its decision earlier this week.
Soon after, Amazon filed an interim application in the special leave petition pending before the Supreme Court. In its application, Amazon has asked the apex court to halt Future Group's efforts to convene a meeting of its shareholders and creditors which is scheduled for Nov 10-11.
On Sept 28., the National Company Law Tribunal had allowed the Future Group to convene a meeting of its shareholders and creditors for consolidation of its entities, the first step in its ultimate sale to Reliance Retail Ventures.
The apex court's direction on Amazon's interim application will now determine if Future Group can convene this meeting.
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.