India’s Future Retail Enters Bankruptcy Over Amazon’s Objections

Amazon Alleges Future Retail Breached Contract

India’s National Company Law Tribunal has sent Future Retail into bankruptcy, despite claims by Amazon’s local division that the move was part of a conspiracy to make the once-mighty retailer insolvent.

The bankruptcy decision was based on a petition by Bank of India and allows Future’s creditors to find a new owner for the company, which had operated the country’s largest chain of department stores in its heyday, Bloomberg reported Wednesday (July 20).

As part of the ruling, the court also appointed an administrator to take over the management at Future Retail. The decision means Reliance Industries has another chance to buy out Future Retail’s assets after its 2020 attempt to secure the chain for $3.4 billion was squelched by Amazon in a contentious court battle across India and Singapore, according to the report. India has about 1.4 billion total consumers.

Read more: Delhi High Court Halts Future’s $3.4B Deal Following Amazon’s Objections

Indian laws limit direct investment by foreign companies in retail enterprises, meaning Amazon can’t become the next Future Retail owner. The bankruptcy ruling also slows down or ends Amazon’s arbitration case in Singapore against Future, although cases against Future Retail Founder Kishore Biyani and his other companies can continue, the report stated.

Future agreed to sell most of its assets to Reliance during the height of the lockdowns related to the pandemic in 2020, a move Amazon said went against its investment contract with another Future Group entity. Courts stopped the takeover attempt, which was scrapped in April.

In March, Amazon told India’s top court that its talks to settle its dispute with Future Retail, which had more than 1,500 stores across the nation, was at a stalemate.

See more: Amazon: Out-of-Court Settlement With Future Retail Is Impossible

“We made efforts, but nothing is possible,” Amazon’s lawyer, Gopal Subramanium, told the Supreme Court of India at the time.


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