David Asta Alles
New Delhi, March 12 (EFE) .- Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, has surprised his rival Amazon with hundreds of stores in the Future Group, which has hundreds of companies overnight. Have been struggling for more than a year to dominate the country’s retail market.
Until a few days ago, Future Group’s flagship Big Bazaar supermarket, which had been mired in debt since the outbreak, was politely sent back by a security guard at the entrance to New Delhi.
In a struggle to dominate the country’s retail market, which has led to numerous court cases, the U.S. company wants to control the future since it acquired a 49% stake in a group company in 2019.
Hundreds of stores go to Reliance
Located under a subway station in the vicinity of Kalkaji, south of the capital, the store now has a large Big Bazaar logo painted in gray tarpaulin marking the entrance, and a blatant sign warns that a “reserve” is in place.
Although nothing outside indicates that the store is under Reliance’s control, security guards confirm it. Inside, a team of staff is busy redesigning and remodeling the premises.
Future Group defines itself as a pioneer in supermarket networks in a country of 1.35 billion people, thanks to its total business, its logistics division and more than 1,700 stores in over 400 cities across India.
But in a letter to the National Stock Exchange Commission of India last Wednesday, the group acknowledged that it had lost 850 of its stores in a matter of weeks.
How is that possible?
Faced with rising futures debt, Reliance took a number of rents from the group, thus becoming the landlord of the same group that agreed to buy in August 2020 for about $ 3.4 billion, a source involved in the dispute demanded that Efe’s location be anonymized. The fight with Amazon has reached the Supreme Court.
“Reliance will not be able to pay the rent in the future,” he said, explaining that Ambani’s company could not take over the Big Bazaar due to legal issues.
So Reliance decided to “take over the premises and build their own stores”.
Surprise and outrage
An unpleasant surprise for Jeff Bezos’ company and Future Group, another of the world’s richest men.
In a letter to Ambani’s company quoted by Bloomberg, he lamented, “We do not expect the Reliance Group to take such drastic action without discussing the issue with us.” .
But the main victim was Amazon, which acquired 49% of Future Coupons, a subsidiary of 49% of Indian courts, for about $ 200 million, which was transferred to the list of companies through the express clause vetoing Future retail sales. One where Reliance was.
“There has been a complete breach of the law,” lamented a source close to the US company, who also demanded anonymity.
The source explained that Amazon had made a “strategic investment” in one of Future’s subsidiaries and then “when the government opened up the sector to foreign investment” with the aim of controlling the group’s retail division.
The dispute between Amazon and Future led to the ruling of the International Court of Arbitration in Singapore, which ordered the holding of the assets of the Indian company.
But Reliance argued in the Indian Supreme Court that the agreement between the US company and the Indian company had been canceled by the Competition Commission of India, which was no longer valid, and that its $ 3.4 billion offer for the future was perfectly legitimate.
Following the acquisition of hundreds of stores by Reliance, the courts are still weighing the controversy as no verdict date is known, according to evidence that Amazon last week “extended the Olive branch” to negotiate outside the judges.
The three parties to the conflict should go before India’s highest judiciary on March 15 and indicate whether there has been any progress in the talks, with no evidence close to the controversy and no indication of what the future holds. The future. EFE
daa / mt / rml
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