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Future Retail-RIL deal: Amazon requests SEBI not to issue no-objection certificate

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on January 18, 2021

In a letter, the e-commerce giant has urged the regulator to direct the exchanges also to do the same

Armed with a stay appeal admitted by the Delhi High Court, Amazon has written a letter to SEBI requesting it not to issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the Future Retail-Reliance Industries deal and suspend the review immediately. Further, it has urged the regulatory body to direct the exchanges to do the same.

In its letter addressed to SEBI on January 14, Amazon informed the authority that it had appealed to the divisional bench seeking a stay on the deal, while arbitration proceeding were on in the SIAC court. A copy of the letter has been reviewed by BusinessLine.

“We request you not to assist FRL in violating the process of law and disregarding the Interim Award, which is deemed to be an order of a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908,” the eCommerce giant said.

The single bench judge in December had upheld the fact that prima facie, FRL had a case, as well as it said the EA was valid. However, it further said the decision giving it the power to approve or disapprove the FRL-Reliace slump sale of assets was in the hands of SEBI.

BusinessLine had reported that in order to make sure that its case is watertight, Amazon had approached the divisional bench seeking directions on January 11. On January 13, 2021, the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court comprising the Chief Justice and Justice Jyoti Singh heard brief arguments on the appeal and thereafter, issued notices to the parties, including FRL, and has asked for their responses.

In response to this, the Kishore Biyani-led FRL informed the exchanges about the same and said: “We shall defend the appeal through our legal counsels and keep you informed about the outcome of the same.”

Also read: Delhi HC admits Amazon plea against Future Retail

Also read: Future Retail row: Amazon files appeal in Delhi HC

Thus, according to Amazon, “The validity of the prima facie observations contained in the Single Judge Order is currently sub-judice before the Division Bench.” The next hearing of the appeal will be on February 12, 2021.

In this light, Amazon urged SEBI to “suspend the review of the impugned transaction as well as the scheme involving the impugned transaction, and not grant any no-objection in relation to the same.”

It further requested SEBI to direct “the Indian stock exchanges not to issue a no-objection/ approval letter to FRL.”

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Published on January 14, 2021
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