Reliance Industries extends deadline to complete Future group deal

Reliance Industries extends deadline to complete Future group deal

Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL), the retail arm of Reliance Industries, has for the second time extended the timeline for completing its Rs 24,713-crore deal with the Future group, to March 31, 2022, as it awaits regulatory and judicial clearances.

In a regulatory filing on Friday, Future Retail said RRVL had “extended the timeline for a long-stop date from September 30, 2021 to March 31, 2022, which has been duly acknowledged by Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RRVL”. Earlier, RRVL had extended the timeline for a long-stop date from March 31, 2021 to September 30, 2021, said the filing.

Long stop, an established practice in merger & acquisition transactions, is a timeframe in which parties agree on which conditions precedent to a transaction need to be fulfilled and the transaction completed.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had recently allowed Future group firms to hold meetings of its shareholders and creditors to seek approval for the sale of assets to RRVL.

The NCLT also dismissed the application filed by e-commerce major Amazon opposing the scheme of merger of Future group companies. Amazon had filed an application objecting to the NCLT order.

The scheme of arrangement between Future and Reliance Retail entails the consolidation of Future group's retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing assets into one entity -- Future Enterprises Ltd -- and then transferring it to Reliance Retail.

In August last year, RRVL had said it would acquire the retail and wholesale business, and the logistics and warehousing business of the Future group for Rs 24,713 crore. The deal has been contested by Amazon, an investor in Future Coupons, which in turn is a shareholder in Future Retail.