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Future Retail pays $14 million interest on USD notes in grace period

Debt-ridden Future Retail has made a payment of USD 14 million (around Rs 104.55 crore) for interest due on the dollar-denominated notes (USD Notes) listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange after missing the due date last month.

The USD notes had a grace period of 30 days for making the payment of interest, stated a regulatory filing from Future Retail, which operates chains such as Big Bazaar and Easyday and Heritage among others.

“Further, we would like to inform that on 18th February 2022 the company has made the payment of said interest for the half-year ended for an amount of USD 14 million on above USD Notes,” said the Future Group firm.

The Senior Secured Notes notes had an interest of 5.60 per cent and due in 2025.

Future Retail, on January 24, 2022, had said it had a payment of interest due on the USD Notes as its liquidity position had remained affected due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 on its business operations.

“This has caused us to miss the service of the payment of interest due on the USD Notes (listed on Singapore Stock Exchange) on 24th January 2022,” Future Retail had said.

The Kishore Biyani firm also defaulted on payment of Rs 3,494.56 crore to its lenders in January. Future Retail last year entered into a one-time restructuring (OTR) scheme with a consortium of banks and lenders as per the RBI circular dated August 6, 2020, and was to discharge “an aggregate amount of Rs 3,494.56 crore” by December 31, 2021.

The company is in a legal fight with e-commerce major Amazon over the sale of retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing businesses by its promoters and Future group to Reliance Retail for Rs 24,713 crore.

In August 2020, the board of the company had approved the amalgamation of FRL along with other group companies with Future Enterprises Limited to facilitate the Rs 24,713 crore deal.

However, e-commerce major Amazon is contesting the deal through its 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL), which is a shareholder in Future Retail.

The matter is presently in dispute before the Delhi High Court, the Supreme Court and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).

Reliance Retail Ventures had for the second time extended the timeline for completing its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Future group to March 31, 2022, as it still awaits regulatory and judicial clearances. Business Standard

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