Future Group accuses Reliance of “forcefully” taking over its retail stores

The Future Group has expressed surprise at Reliance Industries’ (RIL) retail arm reportedly taking over its stores. The Kishore Biyani-led company’s reaction has come days after Amazon took out newspaper ads, accusing RIL and Future of “fraud” over the take over move.

In a filing with the stock exchange BSE, the Mumbai-based Future Group, FRL’s parent company, yesterday (March 16) rejected Amazon’s allegation and instead accused RIL of “forcefully” taking control of hundreds of its stores.

“…Reliance Group has unilaterally terminated the leases and forcefully taken over control of hundreds of Future Retail’s stores…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,” the Future Group said .

Neither RIL nor Amazon India responded to Quartz’s queries on the matter.

Future Group’s reply to Amazon and Reliance

Reiterating that it hasn’t given up control of its stores to RIL, the Future Group said it was taking steps to “arrive at a feasible solution that will be in the interests of all stakeholders.”

“FRL’s board had two meetings and notified Reliance Group that such a drastic and unilateral action of Reliance Group to take over the stores has not only come as a surprise to FRL but also complicated the positive scenario…,” it said in the BSE filing.

Future has also expressed dissent over RIL issuing offer letters to FRL employees saying this was “envisaged to take place pursuant to the Scheme and not through any other mechanism.”

What’s happening with Amazon and Reliance?

Future Group’s statement is only one of the many developments that no one saw coming amid the ongoing tussle between two of the world’s biggest retail giants.

In February, RIL suddenly began taking over Future’s stores. The move came amid several ongoing court cases even as Amazon has tried hard to torpedo the deal.

The $3.4 billion RIL-Future agreement has been opposed by Amazon right since it was announced in October 2020. The US major says it violated its own agreement with the Future Group.

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