Reliance Industries-Future Group deal gets SEBI nod of approval

In August of 2020, Kishore Biyani-led Future Group and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail (an arm of Reliance Industries) entered into a deal. This deal, worth Rs 24,713 crore, stated that Future Group was to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehouse businesses to Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, RRVL.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India, SEBI granted the approval for the same on January 20, 2021.

In its approval letter, SEBI listed a number of details, concerns and specifications, also referring to the apprehensions raised by Amazon.

SEBI stated in its letter: “Company shall ensure that the shares of the transferee entity in lieu of the locked in shares of the transferor entities is subjected to lock in for the remaining period post scheme.”

In reference to the Delhi High Court’s plea and the complaints registered by Amazon, it added:

“Company shall ensure that any future disputes, complaints, regulatory actions or proceedings, or orders issued therein involving the draft scheme if any, shall be brought to the notice of shareholders prior to the approval by NCLT,”

“In light of the above, we hereby advise that we have no adverse observations with limited reference to those matters having a bearing on listing/de-listing/continuous listing requirements within the provisions of Listing Agreement, so as to enable the company to file the scheme with Hon’ble NCLT,” SEBI further said.

According to Biyani, “The Reliance deal was a saviour for us and the employees, stakeholders, shareholders and creditors,”