Biyani says Amazon’s legal battle is all about Future Retail ownership at any cost

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 30, 2021

Kishore Biyani, founder and CEO of Future Group

'The company is on firm legal footing as the Reliance deal was approved by CCI, SEBI and the stock exchanges'

Kishore Biyani, promoter of Future Retail Ltd has said that Amazon hasn’t even spared “his father, uncle and children” in its legal tussle with the company. In its letter to his employees, Biyani said that by agreeing to a deal with Reliance, he is losing a business that was “painstakingly created” over the last three decades.

Future Retail is battling at multiple levels to sell off its assets to Reliance for a ₹25,000 crore sum. The company has over 1,500 stores spread across over 400 cities and has over 50,000 employees working with the company.

“This deal with Reliance meets our objective of providing stability and security for our people, vendors, landlords and lenders. I chose this option despite the fact that this means there is no gain for the promoters, in fact we are losing business that was painstakingly created with you all over the last three decades.”

Biyani further said that while “he has received numerous letters, phone calls and messages” from several employees who have expressed support, some are anxious, too.

Legal ground

However, reassuring his employees that the matter is being taken care of, Biyani said, “we are on firm legal footing and this is vindicated by the approvals for the Reliance deal that we have received from Competition Commission of India (CCI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and the stock exchanges.”

Biyani said that Amazon is being ruthless, and in this battle, it hasn’t even spared “the Board of Directors, lenders, promoters, and is unsparing even on my father, uncle and children,” he said.

He added that Amazon’s only objective is to create confusion about the deal with Reliance, hoping to disrupt Future Retail, and create greater confusion and uncertainty around the future for the ecosystem. “For reasons we never believed earlier but quite evident today, this battle is about ownership of the Indian customer at any cost.”

Post the pandemic, Future Retail was facing severe trouble on all sides. Its stock prices had dropped, shares were pledged, shops were shut, suppliers weren’t given them stock, among others.

However, he reassured his employees that, “We have bounced back strongly and I am sure we will close it on a very strong note. Our stores are well stocked, everyone on the shop floor is charged and we are well placed to serve our customers,” he added.

Published on January 30, 2021

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