Future Enterprises crucial board meet today to decide on fund-raising plans

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 28, 2020

Proposed stake sale to RIL is expected to be discussed

Cash-strapped Future Enterprises will hold its crucial board meeting on Saturday to finalise fund-raising plans to stay afloat. While the company said the meeting will evaluate proposals to raise funds by way of issuance of bonds, including debentures or securities including through private placement, the proposed stake sale to Reliance Industries is expected to be discussed.

Sources said issues related to valuations have been finally resolved. They also said that Amazon, which owns a minority stake in Future Retail, has not raised any objections to the stake sale to RIL.

Kishore Biyani-backed Future Retail managed to avert a default earlier this month by making interest payment of $14 million to investors of its $500-million senior secured notes listed in Singapore. Future Retail has been struggling to stay afloat for the past two years with Covid-19 adding to its woes.

Due to an acute cash crunch, the company had, last month, missed the first interest payment of ₹100 crore on its $500-million 5.6 per cent senior secured notes due in January 2025.

While the immediate crisis has been averted, Biyani has a major challenge ahead in closing a stake-sale deal with Reliance Industries.

Biyani has been talking to Mukesh Ambani for at least three months. Future Retail has, since April, taken loans of ₹170 crore under the Common Covid-19 Emergency Credit Line scheme from multiple banks to keep its operations running.

According to sources, Future Enterprises board may also discuss a plan to merge all key group entities so that Biyani can get a higher valuation through the stake sale to RIL.

Published on August 28, 2020

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