Debt-ridden Future Group has announced that it will sell its 25 per cent equity in Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited (FGIICL) to its JV partner Generali for a cash consideration of ₹1,252.96 crore as part of its asset monetisation plans to pair debts.

Besides, Generali has also acquired an option to buy out the Future Enterprises Limited's (FEL) remaining interest in FGIICL, which operates in the general insurance business, said a late-night regulatory filing by the Future Group firm.

FGIICL is a joint venture between Future Enterprises and Generali Participations Netherlands NV (Generali).

"FEL has agreed to sell a 25 per cent stake in its General Insurance Joint Venture, FGIICL, to its Joint Venture partner Generali for a cash consideration of ₹1,252.96 crore, plus an additional consideration that is linked to the date of the closing of the transaction," the regulatory filing by the Future Group firm said.

As part of the deal, Generali has also acquired an option to buy out FEL's remaining interest in FGIICL, "directly or through a nominee", at an agreed valuation, subject to applicable regulatory approvals, FEL said.

"The transaction is subject to applicable regulatory approvals and other customary conditions," it added.

According to the company, it had received offers from various potential buyers for its remaining 24.91 per cent interest in FGIICL. Moreover, FEL is also exploring the option to sell its 33.3 per cent stake in its life insurance JV – Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Limited (FGILICL) – as it progresses on its plans to monetise its investment in its insurance joint ventures with Generali.

"It is also exploring options for the sale of its 33.3 per cent interest in the life insurance JV and expects to complete the exit of its holding in the insurance joint ventures in a time-bound manner to meet its commitment under the one time restructuring (OTR) plan implemented under a August 6, 2020 circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India in relation to the resolution framework for Covid-19 related stress," it said.

Generali had earlier this month received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to purchase 16 per cent stake held by Industrial Investment Trust Limited in FGILICL.

It has also agreed to invest up to ₹330 crore in tranches in FGILICL to fund its growth plans, it said.

"Pursuant to these transactions, Generali will acquire a majority stake and control in both insurance joint ventures," the Future Group said.

FEL develops, owns and leases the retail infrastructure for Future Group, which owns and operates retail chains such as Big Bazaar, Easyday and Heritage, among others.

Like other Future Group firms, FEL had also entered into the OTR scheme for Covid-hit companies with a consortium of banks and lenders. As part of that, it has to repay the loan through asset monetisation.

Future Group, Reliance deal

In August 2020, the Kishore Biyani-led Future Group had announced a ₹24,713 crore deal for the sale of its retail and wholesale business, and the logistics and warehousing business to Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited.

As part of the deal, Future Enterprises Limited is the transferee company to Reliance Retail.

Future Group's 19 companies operating in retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing assets would be consolidated into one entity – FEL – and then transferred to Reliance.

However, global e-commerce major Amazon is contesting the deal through its 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons Private Limited (FCPL), which is a shareholder in Future Retail Limited.

The matter is presently in dispute before the Supreme Court and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).

Reliance Retail Ventures has, for the second time, extended the timeline for completing its ₹24,713 crore deal with Future Group to March 31 as it still awaits regulatory and judicial clearances.

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