India's Future Group stocks plunge after Reliance deal falls through

People use an escalator as they exit a Future Group Big Bazaar retail store in Mumbai
People use an escalator as they exit a Future Group Big Bazaar retail store in Mumbai, India, November 25, 2020. REUTERS/Niharika Kulkarni

BENGALURU, April 25 (Reuters) - Shares of Future Group companies fell sharply on Monday, some as much as 20%, after India's biggest retailer Reliance (RELI.NS) called off its $3.4 billion deal with the group over the weekend, pushing its flagship Future Retail towards a possible bankruptcy process.

Shares of Future Supply Chain Solutions (FUTE.NS), Future Retail (FRTL.NS), Future Lifestyle Fashions (FLFL.NS), Future Consumer (FTRE.NS) and Future Enterprises (FURE.NS) fell between 5% and 20%.

With Reliance calling off the deal, Future, once one of India's biggest retailers, now faces the prospect of a bankruptcy process. read more

"There is nothing much left for the company (Future Retail). They don't have money, shops. Whatever Reliance has not taken over yet have already been shut down. Future Retail is likely to file for bankruptcy," said Deepak Shenoy, founder and chief executive of Capitalmind in Bengaluru.

Reliance said on Saturday the deal, at the centre of many legal battles since 2020, "cannot be implemented" after Future's secured creditors rejected it. read more

Future has been in a long-drawn legal battle with U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN.O) over the $3.4 billion sale of its retail assets to rival Reliance Industries. Amazon had obtained legal injunctions that stalled Future's deal with Reliance, sparking a series of legal battles in various forums, including an arbitration panel in Singapore.

However, Reliance suddenly took control of hundreds of Future stores in February, citing non-payment of rent, after assuming many of the leases held by cash-strapped Future. read more

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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