Market authorities can at the most seek info in a commercial dispute

By Sanjeev Sharma
New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) While there is talk of Amazon having written a letter to the stock exchanges and market regulator on the Future-Reliance deal, sources said it is yet to be received.

There have been reports that Amazon has written seeking to take into account the interim decision of the Singapore arbitration court in the case involving Future Group and Reliance Industries (RIL).

The Singapore arbitration court in an order on the Rs 24,713 crore deal between Future Group and Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries had stayed the deal.

Sources said any such letter is yet to be received on the subject by the authorities. It may be coming, but is yet to be received.

It is also pertinent that it is a commercial dispute between parties and the stock exchanges and the regulators can at the most seek information from the listed companies involved and may not necessarily be a securities matter to be looked at by these authorities.

Following the decision of the Singapore arbitration, Future Retail has said that it would take appropriate steps to ensure that the proposed transaction with Reliance Retail proceeds unhindered.

“Future Retail Limited (FRL) has received a communication from the SIAC, enclosing an interim order of the Emergency Arbitrator in the arbitration proceedings under shareholders’ agreement between Amazon, Future Coupons Private Limited and the promoter group. FRL is examining the communication and the order,” the company said in a filing.

“It may be noted that FRL is not a party to the agreement under which Amazon has invoked arbitration proceedings. FRL has been legally advised that actions taken by the FRL/its board, which are in full compliance of the relevant agreements and eminently in the interest of all stakeholders cannot be held back in arbitration proceedings initiated under an agreement to which FRL is not a party,” it said.

“As per the advice received by FRL, all relevant agreements are governed by Indian Law and provisions of Indian Arbitration Act for all intents and purposes and this matter raises several fundamental jurisdictional issues which go to the root of the matter,” it said.

“Accordingly, this order will have to be tested under the provisions of Indian Arbitration Act in an appropriate forum. In any enforcement proceedings, FRL would take appropriate steps to ensure that the proposed transaction will proceed unhindered without any delay,” Future Retail added.

Earlier, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) had said in a statement that it is informed of an interim order passed by the Emergency Arbitrator in the arbitration proceedings invoked by Amazon under a shareholders’ agreement with the promoters of Future Group.

RRVL has entered into the transaction for acquisition of assets and business of Future Retail Limited under proper legal advice and the rights and obligations are fully enforceable under Indian Law.

“RRVL intends to enforce its rights and complete the transaction in terms of the scheme and agreement with Future group without any delay,” it said.

(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.s@ians.in)

–IANS
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