The sale of assets to Reliance is a fraudulent act, the US giant says.
After a short silence, it is back to square one for Amazon and Future Retail (FRL). The US retail giant accused FRL on Tuesday of allowing Reliance Industries to take over its outlets, despite claims to the contrary in court.
Amazon, which is engaged in a legal battle with FRL over the sale of the latter’s assets to Reliance Retail, said in a public notice that the false statements were made knowingly because “FRL was about to authorize the transfer of retail assets to the MDA Group.” Amazon said that “these actions have been done in a clandestine manner by playing scams in the constitutional courts of India.”
While the Supreme Court gave Amazon and FRL until March 15 to reach an out-of-court settlement, counsel for the companies in court said the talks had failed. Both sides now prefer to resume arbitration proceedings before the Singapore tribunal, which has been suspended by the Delhi High Court.
In its statement published in newspapers, Amazon said any attempt by FRL and its promoters to transfer or dispose of assets would violate the orders of the Emergency Arbitrator (EA) of the Singapore International Arbitration Center, who prevented FRL from doing so by to go with his Rs. Merger of 24,713 crore with Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL).
Subsequently, the fully constituted arbitral tribunal reaffirmed the EA’s order and in August last year the SC upheld the verdict.
In Tuesday’s announcement, Amazon alleged that FRL had attempted to clandestinely transfer FRL’s outlets to the MDA Group by misleading the courts.
Last Thursday, Future Retail said in a registration request that it had received cancellations for 342 large format stores (LFR) – including Big Bazaar, Fashion at Big Bazaar (fbb) and 493 small format stores such as Easyday and Heritage stores.
Reliance Retail had given notices to end the sublease of 947 Future Group’s stores and is proposing to reopen them after stock reconciliation and stock position rebranding. Reliance had taken over the stores last month, Future Group had defaulted on rent payments. Once the reconciliation of inventory and inventory positions is over, the stores would be rebranded as Reliance Digital, Reliance Smart and Reliance Fresh (groceries) and Reliance Trends.
Meanwhile, in the absence of a settlement, a bank headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana hinted at an interim injunction on Wednesday. Gopal Subramanium, senior Counsel for Amazon, will now have to file a preliminary injunction. Subramanium said that while Amazon wanted a dialogue in good faith, Reliance’s acquisition of the stores was underway despite the cases being heard in the Delhi High Court and NCLAT. “I don’t want this message to go out that court orders are happily ignored,” he said.
While Amazon requested that the arbitration proceeding be resumed, Amazon argued that unless the highest court grants it preliminary protection, there will be nothing left to fight over at a later stage.
However, the Future group denied the allegations through senior advisers Harish Salve and Mukul Rohtagi, saying they have not transferred the stores. Amazon is driving us to our knees. We are broken. Store takeover started 15 days ago. We have no control. Future Retail has no money to pay the rent and so Reliance has moved to take over the stores and is taking action despite the ongoing lawsuits. There’s nothing we can do,” Salve said.
This post Amazon-Future talks fail: Both sides want arbitration to resume was original published at “https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/amazon-future-talks-fail-both-parties-want-resumption-of-arbitration/2462122/”