Shareholders of six listed Future Group companies voted on Wednesday over the deal to sell their assets to Reliance Retail. The final result of the voting will be declared after the two meetings of secured and unsecured creditors, scheduled for today.
The shareholders’ meeting came after an order by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on February 28 after a Supreme Court order allowed Future Group companies to convene a meeting of shareholders and creditors to take their approval for the ₹24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail Ventures.
“The NCLT convened meeting of the shareholders of Future Retail Limited was held on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 12:00 noon through video conference/other audio-visual means pursuant to the directions issued by the National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai Bench vide its order dated 28th September 28, 2021, read with order dated February 28, 2022,” the companies said in separate exchange filings.
Shareholders of Future Enterprises, Future Consumer, Future Lifestyle Fashions, Future Market Networks, Future Retail, Future Supply Chain Solutions voted during the meeting. Shailesh Haribhakti chaired the meeting for Future Enterprises, Future Lifestyle Fashions, Future Retail and Future Supply Chain Solutions. Rajesh Kalyani and G.N. Bajpai were the chairpersons for shareholders meeting of Future Market Networks and Future Consumer, respectively.
The window for e-voting on the motion was closed shortly after the conclusion of the meeting.
While the results of the voting were not declared, the Future Group companies said that the scrutinisers for their respective shareholder meetings will be submitted to the stock exchanges. The consolidated report on the voting cast during the meeting and the remote e-voting facility provided by the company will also be submitted.
Global e-commerce major Amazon, which has contested the deal between Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance and Kishore Biyani’s Future, had opposed shareholder meetings to approve the deal.
As per the deal’s terms, 19 Future Group companies, including Future Retail, operating in retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing segments, are yet to be consolidated into one entity and then transferred to Reliance Retail Ventures. Amazon had contested the deal claiming first right of refusal by virtue of its stake in Future Coupons, which holds a stake in Future Retail.
A week before the creditors’ meeting, Bank of India had approached the NCLT to initiate insolvency proceedings against Future Retail to recover ₹3,495 crore default on the one-time restructuring scheme between the bank and the company.
Several Future Group companies, including Future Retail, had entered into agreements with their creditors under the RBI circular dated August 6, 2020, that offered relief to the companies hit by Covid-19 disruptions. Earlier this month, Future Retail had reported a default of ₹5,322.32 crore to its lenders due to the ongoing legal battle with Amazon and other related issues.
If the NCLT admits Bank of India’s petition to initiate insolvency proceedings against Future Retail, it is likely to hold up the acquisition deal between Future Group and Reliance Industries, and would allow other potential buyers, including Amazon, to bid for the company. The deal is currently on hold on account of litigation between Future and Amazon.