India’s Supreme Court on Monday blocked a final ruling by a court reviewing Future Group’s $ 3.4 billion sale of retail assets, three sources said, until the Supreme Court hears objections from the aggrieved partner, Amazon.com.
Amazon appealed the Supreme Court this month against the Future Group’s sale of market leader Reliance Industries, accusing its partner of breaching contracts by agreeing to the sale.
The outcome of a conflict involving two of the world’s richest men, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Mukesh Ambani of Reliance, could reshape the pandemic-affected shopping sector in India and decide whether Amazon can loosen Reliance’s dominance in retail.
Three people familiar with the proceedings said on Monday that the Supreme Court ordered that while the court can continue to review the deal and oversee the approval process, it cannot issue a final order while the court hears Amazon’s concerns.
“This is a good thing for Amazon,” said one of the sources, who has first-hand knowledge of the events.
Indian stock exchanges and the antitrust watchdog liquidated the deal, which is now awaiting approval by the National Court of Corporate Law (NCLT), in line with regulatory actions.
A second source said Future had only asked NCLT to allow it to call meetings to get shareholder approvals for the deal.
The source added that this process will continue, and Future will seek final approval from the court at a later time.
Amazon declined to comment, while Future Group Reliance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The sources asked not to be identified as they are not authorized to speak to the media.
Reuters reported in its appeal to the Supreme Court that Amazon will argue that an October arbitration order that placed the Future-Reliance deal pending remains valid.