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Future Retail denies Amazon’s allegation of ‘fraudulent stratagem’ by independent directors

Future Retail Ltd (FRL) has denied Amazon’s allegations that the debt-ridden firm’s independent directors facilitated a “fraudulent stratagem” in transferring 835 stores to the Reliance group, saying the e-commerce major has been making “baseless” and “irrelevant” claims.

“At the outset, we deny all allegations made in the said media report by Amazon on the Company,” FRL said in a clarification to BSE.

Last week, Amazon had accused FRL’s independent directors of facilitating a “fraudulent stratagem” of transfer of 835 stores to Reliance Retail Venture. FRL said Amazon has been writing to various regulators on one or the other point related to the company and has been making “baseless, irrelevant allegations”.

“As is evident Amazon is changing its goal post every now and then with respect to various matters concerning the Company,” it said in the regulatory filing on Wednesday.

FRL, which is facing an insolvency petition before NCLT for defaulting on loans, said it has already made necessary disclosure in relation to termination of leases for the stores on February 26, 2022, March 9, 2022 and March 16, 2022, giving the update in relation to the same.

Future and Amazon have been locked in a bitter legal tussle after the US e-commerce giant dragged Future Group to arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October 2020, arguing that FRL had violated their contract by entering into a deal for the sale of its assets to billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail on a slump sale basis for Rs 24,713 crore.

The Reliance deal fell through last month after lenders to FRL and other group companies part of it had rejected it. But prior to that, Reliance group took over operations of dozens of Future stores after the retailer failed to pay rent. PTI

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