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Future Group Shares Jump After Indian Court Ruling

Delhi High Court agreed that there was no legal basis for the arbitration between the two sides to continue, citing decision by antitrust agency


The ruling paves the way for a deal between Future Group, which owns Big Bazaar supermarkets, and Reliance Retail. Photo: Future Retail.

 

Shares in Future Group companies jumped on Thursday, a day after an Indian court halted arbitration proceedings between the conglomerate and its estranged partner Amazon.com.

A two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court agreed on Wednesday with Future Group that there was no legal basis for the arbitration between the two sides to continue.

The judges cited a decision by India’s antitrust agency to suspend a key 2019 deal used by Amazon to assert rights over Future.

Future Enterprises, Future Consumer, Future Retail and Future Lifestyle Fashions rose as much as between 7.5% and 13.8% in a weak Mumbai market.

The Delhi court’s decision is a setback for the US e-commerce giant, which used the terms of its $200 million investment in Future Group in 2019 to block the Kishore Biyani-owned company’s attempt to sell retail assets to Reliance Industries.

Future Group previously said if the Reliance asset sale deal fails, it would be likely to face liquidation as its retail businesses were hit hard during the pandemic.

The court will reconvene on February 1 to hear the case again. A source familiar with the case said Amazon was likely to legally challenge the decision.

The dispute between Future Group, Amazon and Reliance is seen as a battle for dominance in the Indian retail market between Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani.

Future Group, Amazon and Reliance did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

 

  • Reuters, with George Russell

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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