In a setback to Future Group, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) on Tuesday turned down a plea to end the legal proceedings initiated by US e-commerce major Amazon. SIAC said it will continue the proceedings against Future Group’s move to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries (RIL) for Rs 24,713 crore.
Dismissing the termination applications, the tribunal said the continuation of the proceedings has not been rendered unnecessary. According to SIAC, the National Company Law Tribunal, which is hearing the bankruptcy petition filed by the lenders, is yet impose any moratorium and therefore there was “no legal or material barrier preventing the continuation of proceedings”.Also, such a moratorium would be operative against Future Retail and not the majority respondents. Hence, any moratorium will not prevent the majority respondents from participating in these proceedings, it said. Further, with the tribunal continuing with arbitration proceedings, the validity of the earlier emergency arbitration will continue to be valid.
In 2020, Future Group had filed an application citing an earlier CCI order that cancelled a deal between Future Retail and Amazon. Since the deal was cancelled and Amazon’s objections were declared illegal by the CCI, there was no need to proceed with the arbitration, Future Group had said in its petition before the SIAC. In April, the Supreme Court had allowed arbitration proceedings before SIAC between Amazon and FRL.
In 2020, Future Group had entered into a deal with Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of RIL, to sell its retail, logistics and warehousing businesses for Rs 24,713 crore. It was later cancelled after Future Group failed to secure shareholders’ and lenders’ approval.