CCI approves Future Group-Reliance Retail deal

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday approved the Future Group-Reliance Retail deal.

In a brief statement, the CCI tweeted, “Commission approves acquisition of retail, wholesale, logistics & warehousing businesses of Future Group by Reliance Retail Ventures Limited and Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited.”

Wholesale Undertaking is being transferred to Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited (RRFLL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of RRVL; the Logistics & Warehousing Undertaking is being transferred to RRVL.

Reliance Retail will now have access to close to 1,800 stores across Future Group’s Big Bazaar, FBB, Easyday, Central, Foodhall formats, which are spread in over 420 cities in India.

Earlier on August 29, 2020, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries had announced the acquisition of businesses of Kishore Biyani’s Future Group for Rs 24,713 crore.

The approval by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a setback for Amazon, which has argued that a 2019 agreement it inked with Future prevented the Indian group from selling its retail assets to certain parties.

Amazon, last year, had bought a 49 percent stake in one of Future’s unlisted firms, Future Coupons Ltd, with the right to buy into FRL after a period between three and 10 years. Future Coupons owned a 7.3 percent stake in Future Retail.

Along with this, Amazon even wrote to market regulator SEBI, stock exchanges, and CCI seeking a stay on the deal.

Later, Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Ltd (FRL) on November 7 moved the Delhi High Court against Amazon.com for interfering in its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Industries (RIL) by misusing the arbitration order passed by SIAC.

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