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Indian bourse to consult regulator on Future-Reliance deal after Amazon objection: source

Abhirup Roy and Aditya Kalra
·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: A shipment moves on a conveyor belt at an Amazon Fulfillment Centre (BLR7) on the outskirts of Bengaluru

Indian bourse to consult regulator on Future-Reliance deal after Amazon objection: source

FILE PHOTO: A shipment moves on a conveyor belt at an Amazon Fulfillment Centre (BLR7) on the outskirts of Bengaluru

By Abhirup Roy and Aditya Kalra

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI(Reuters) - India's Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) will consult the market regulator and seek clarifications from Future Retail <FRTL.NS> and Reliance Industries <RELI.NS> about their $3.4 billion transaction, following Amazon's objection to the deal, an exchange source said.

Amazon <AMZN.O> on Oct. 25 won an injunction from a Singapore arbitrator to halt Future's deal to sell retail assets to Reliance, arguing the Indian retailer group breached certain contract provisions it entered into last year in a separate deal with the U.S. firm.

Both Indian firms reacted to the decision by saying they want to complete the deal "without any delay". Amazon has now written to capital markets regulator SEBI, as well as the BSE and the National Stock Exchange, to put the deal on hold in light of the arbitration order, two separate sources said.

A BSE source said it will consult SEBI about its stance on the deal and the exchange later on Friday also plans to seek clarification from Future and Reliance Retail.

SEBI and the stock exchanges did not respond to requests for comment. Amazon declined comment, while Future and Reliance did not immediately respond.

The dispute centres around Future's decision in August to sell its retail, wholesale and some other businesses to Reliance for $3.38 billion, including debt.

Amazon argues that a 2019 deal it had with a Future unit had clauses saying the Indian group couldn't sell its retail assets to anyone on a "restricted persons" list including any firms from Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani's group.

Amazon has shared a copy of the Singapore arbitrator's interim order with SEBI and the two stock exchanges, hoping they would step in to stall the approval, the second source said.

People familiar with the case have previously told Reuters the Singapore arbitrator's order is not automatically enforceable in India and Amazon may need to get a binding order from an Indian court.

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Mumbai and Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; Editing by Sam Holmes)