The lenders of Future Enterprises Ltd (FEL) have appointed an auditor for conducting a forensic audit of the debt-ridden firm, a regulatory filing said on Monday.

"It is informed that the Central Bank of India (Lead Bank) vide its email dated 12th September 2022 has intimated that in compliance with the extant RBI Guidelines, banks have made the appointment of J C Kabra & Associates, Chartered Accountants to carry out a forensic audit of the accounts of the Company," said FEL in a regulatory filing.

However, the filing did not mention the period for which the forensic audit would be conducted. This is the second firm of the Kishore Biyani-led Future Group firm, which will face a forensic audit.

Earlier, some media reports had claimed that lenders of the Future group flagship firm Future Retail had appointed a firm for conducting a forensic audit of the company, which is presently facing insolvency proceedings before the Mumbai bench of NCLT.

Last month, FEL also informed that it was facing two petitions from its creditors for initiating an insolvency resolution process against the company. Earlier on August 4, stock market regulator Sebi ordered a forensic audit of the accounts of FRL for the financial years 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has also asked for an audit of FRL's Related Party Transactions (RPT) with three other Future group firms — Future Enterprises Ltd, Future Consumer Ltd and Future Supply Chain Solutions Ltd.

RPT refers to a deal or arrangement made between two parties related to each other by having a pre-existing business relation or common interest.

FEL’s profile

FEL has defaulted on the payment of interest on its several non-convertible debentures recently. It is engaged in the business of manufacturing, trading, leasing of assets and logistics services. It used to develop, own and lease the retail infrastructure for the Group.

FEL also holds the Group’s investments in subsidiaries and joint ventures including insurance, textile manufacturing, supply chain and logistics. It was part of 19 group companies operating in the retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing segments, which were supposed to be transferred to Reliance Retail as part of a ₹24,713-crore deal announced in August 2020.

The deal was called off by Reliance Industries in April after it failed to get lenders' support. Following this, the Kishore Biyani-led retail empire is in deep financial trouble.

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