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April 25, 2022

Reliance Industries and Future Group’s $3.4bn deal collapses

Future Group's lenders plan to pursue group insolvency after RIL called off the deal.

Multinational retail conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL) has cancelled its deal to acquire certain businesses of the India-based Future Group.

The announcement comes after Future Group’s secured creditors rejected the deal.

In a ballot held last week, 69% of the company’s secured lenders reportedly voted against the scheme, while 86% of shareholders and 78% of unsecured creditors were in favour of it.

In a stock exchange filing, RIL said: “The Future Group companies comprising Future Retail (FRL) and other listed companies involved in the scheme have intimated the results of the voting on the scheme of arrangement by their shareholders and creditors at their respective meetings.

“As per these results, the shareholders and unsecured creditors of FRL have voted in favour of the scheme. But the secured creditors of FRL have voted against the scheme.

“In view thereof, the subject scheme of arrangement cannot be implemented.”

This development is the latest in a two-year legal battle involving Reliance, Future and e-commerce giant Amazon.

Amazon previously legally blocked the transaction, citing a breach of terms of the non-compete contract it had in place with the group.

In a separate development reported by the Economic Times, Future Group’s lenders plan to pursue group insolvency following the deal’s collapse.

Sources said that the chances of the group’s recovery stood at less than 10%.

The total loans of Future Group’s companies stood at Rs289.2bn ($3.77bn) as of 31 January.

On 21 April, Future Retail’s lead lender, Bank of India, filed a petition seeking insolvency proceedings against the retailer at the Mumbai bankruptcy court.

In August 2020, RIL subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL) agreed to acquire parts of Future Group in a deal valued at Rs247.13bn.

The deal included Future Group’s Retail & Wholesale Business and Logistics & Warehousing Business.