Future Retail has said it was surprised by the takeover of its stores by Reliance Retail and it will strive to take them back.

BusinessLine had reported on February 25, that Reliance had sent termination letters to at least 400 of its stores, and had started the process of taking over Future Retail’s Big Bazaar stores.

Now, Future Retail has said that since the last week of February 2022, Reliance Group has unilaterally terminated the leases and “forcefully taken over control” of hundreds of Future Retail’s stores, which has been intimated to stock exchanges vide its intimation dated February 26, 2022 and March 9, 2022. 

‘Comes as a surprise’

“Such termination of leases and takeover of stores by Reliance Group has come as a surprise to FRL and its Board since, throughout the entire period, the Future Group and Reliance Group have been collaborating to ensure full continuity of businesses,” Future said in a stock exchange filing.

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In August 2020, Future Retail sold its assets to Reliance for ₹24,713 crore subject to approvals. This deal was challenged by Amazon, which had invested ₹1,400 crore in Future Coupon Private Limited in 2019. Amazon claimed it invested in FCPL on a condition that Future Retail could not sell its assets to restricted parties, including Reliance. The legal tangle has delayed the deal by more than a year. Reliance has, meanwhile, extended the time period for completing the acquisition of Future Retail to September.