CCI gives green signal to Reliance Retail-Future Group deal; ecommerce giant Amazon opposes
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Reliance's proposed acquisition of retail, wholesale, logistics, and warehousing businesses of Future Group.
The Rs 24,713 crore deal that would boost Reliance Industries' fast-growing retail business was announced in August.
In a tweet on Friday, the regulator said it has approved "acquisition of retail, wholesale, logistics, and warehousing businesses of Future Group by Reliance Retail Ventures Limited and Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited."
Deals beyond a certain threshold require the approval of the CCI, which keeps a tab on unfair business practices across sectors.
As per the notice submitted to the CCI, there are at least seven target entities. These are Future Enterprises, Future Consumer Ltd, Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd, Future Retail Ltd, Future Market Networks Ltd, Future Supply Chain Solutions Ltd, and Futurebazaar India Ltd, and its subsidiaries.
"The Transferor Companies consists of several listed and unlisted companies, primarily engaged in retail, wholesale, logistics, and warehousing businesses.
"These businesses operate on a pan-India basis, and include retail operations across segments such as food and grocery, apparel, footwear and accessories, other merchandise, etc.," the notice said.
Meanwhile, ecommerce majorhas opposed the deal between Future Group and Reliance.
Last year, Amazon bought 49 percent stake in one of Future Group's unlisted firms, with the right to buy into the listed flagship Future Retail Ltd. Amazon has claimed that its contract with the unlisted Future Coupons Ltd barred a transaction with several persons and companies, including Reliance.
In another development, Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries said it has completed the sale of about 10 percent stake in its retail unit to a clutch of foreign investors for Rs 47,265 crore.
Since September 25, the company has sold 10.09 percent stake in Reliance VentureLtd (RRVL) to private equity firms Silver Lake Partners, KKR, GIC, TPG, and General Atlantic, as well as sovereign wealth funds Mubadala, ADIA, and PIF.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)