Future Enterprises get Bombay High Court’s nod for stake sale in insurance JV

Future Group had signed a deal in 2020 to sell its retail, logistics and warehousing businesses to Reliance Retail.

The Bombay High Court has permitted Future Enterprises to proceed with its proposed Rs 1,253-crore stake sale in Future Generali India Insurance to its joint venture partner Generali Group.

The court, which heard an interim application filed by Future Enterprises on Monday, set aside an ex parte order passed by a civil court in Mumbai on February 25, the company said in a regulatory update.

A copy of the order is awaited, it said, without divulging details.

In January, Future Enterprises entered into a deal to offload a 25% stake in its general insurance joint venture to its Dutch partner for `1,252.96 crore and an additional consideration linked to the date of the closing of the transaction.

Following the closure of the deal, Generali Participations Netherlands was to hold a 74% stake in the joint venture firm Future Generali India Insurance Company. The Dutch company also had an option to acquire Future Enterprises’ remaining stake in the venture, directly or through a nominee.

Generali also received approval from the Competition Commission of India for the deal. Future Enterprises was also in discussions with other potential buyers to sell its remaining stake.

However, the civil court put the deal on hold following a legal challenge by some of Future Enterprises’ bondholders. IDBI Trusteeship, which represented the bondholders, including Apollo Global, had moved court saying it held rights that mandated Future Enterprises from not diluting its stake in Future Generali.

The civil court in Mumbai had restrained Future Enterprises from selling the stake, following which the company moved the Bombay High Court.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Future Enterprises convened a shareholders’ and creditors meeting on April 20 and April 21, respectively, to seek their approval for a proposed Rs 24,713-crore deal with Reliance Industries (RIL).

Future Group had signed a deal in 2020 to sell its retail, logistics and warehousing businesses to Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of billionaire Mukesh Ambani-controlled RIL.

US e-commerce major Amazon had opposed the deal, citing a 2019 deal through which it acquired a 49% stake in Future Coupons, the promoter entity of Future Retail, for about Rs 1,500 crore. Amazon had alleged violation of certain terms in the deal signed in 2019.

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