As Future Retail Bankruptcy Crawls, Adani And Reliance Among Bidders

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Adani Group and former suitor Reliance Retail have again expressed interest in buying the assets of Future Retail that went bankrupt last year.

Other prominent names in the list of prospective resolution applicants (PRA) include Jindal Power, WH Smith Travel Ltd (UK-based travel retailer), and several other scrap dealers and waste recyclers, according 'Business Line' newspaper.

Reliance, Adani, and WH Smith were named in an earlier list of final PRAs released in November 2022. JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction is a new entrant.

None of the companies shortlisted earlier came up with resolution plans even after the deadline was extended twice. The last deadline was February 20.

The applicants were required to submit a bid for the company as a whole or they could submit bids for clusters. There were five clusters on which the applicant companies could place their bids.

After Future Retail defaulted on loans, it was taken to the bankruptcy proceedings by lender Bank of India.

Kishore Biyani, Future's promoter, stepped down from the suspended board and later resigned as chairman and director of the company in January. However, Biyani later withdrew his resignation following objections raised by the resolution professional.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), India’s market regulator ordered the initiation of a forensic audit for the Future Group's accounts for the financial years 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 in August 2022.

Future Retails's assets were part of the 19 Future group companies operating in the retail, wholesale, logistic, and warehousing segments, which were supposed to be taken over by Reliance Retail as part of a Rs 24,713-crore deal announced in August 2020.

However, following a legal tussle between Amazon and Reliance over the takeover, lenders rejected a Rs 24,713-crore deal.

The final list of PRAs will be out on April 13, and the deadline for submitting resolution plans is May 15.