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The Economic Times
English EditionEnglish Editionहिन्दीગુજરાતી
| 15 August, 2020, 03:44 PM IST | E-Paper
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    SEARCHED FOR:FUTURE GROUP

    RIL inches closer to bolster its presence in retail space as it nears deal with Future Group

    Reliance Industries (RIL) is in late-stage talks to acquire the retail business of Future Group as it moves to bolster its brick-and-mortar play in Asia’s third-largest economy.

    The Reliance cheque that could mark the end of Kishore Biyani's play in retail

    Mukesh Ambani has been buoyed by investments close to $20 bill...

    Retail business witnessed sharp decline, de-growth of 64% in 1st half of July

    The latest monthly survey by the Retailers Association of India...

    • If the debt position pushed Biyani into a corner, the pandemic sealed his fate. Any potential buyer will drive a hard bargain, knowing the group will find itself in a crisis when the loan moratorium ceases at the end of August. The man who hooked India on to retail bargains will have to negotiate hard for a good deal for himself. How did Biyani end up in this situation?

      A second person said that the deal has taken time due to disagreements over the valuation of Future Retail, the flagship of Biyani’s enterprise. Future Retail, meantime, is facing increased liquidity pressure after it missed interest payments on its US dollar-denominated bonds last week.

      The government of the National Capital Territory has held online meetings with some of the companies and written letters to the others, to check if they were willing to partner in the Mukhyamantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana, two people familiar with the matter said.

      Reliance is closing in on a deal that would see it acquire stakes in some units of Future Group.

      The four debt schemes are among the six that are in the process of being wound up.

      The retailer is talking to individual landlords and has carved out multiple negotiation strategies. Its Big Bazaar outlets are offering a revenue share model to landlords. For the landlords not agreeable to the revenue share formula, Future group is seeking either a rent deferral or a reduced payment option and stores that are completely shut, the retailer has sought a total payment holiday.

      A deal with Reliance offers a much comprehensive solution to Kishore Biyani’s debt problems

      In March, salaries were paid to frontline staff and middle management executives across essential and non-essential businesses. “April salaries are under discussion, but whatever the decision, frontline staff in stores across the board will be paid,” said a person in the know of developments.

      Buying patterns are largely getting dictated by life’s travails under lockdown, major online marketplaces and retail chains say. Denied the comfort of domestic help doing the cleaning, and/or the cook doing lunches and dinners, the relatively better off are buying more labour-saving household devices that get the job done.

      Brent crude fell 19 cents, or 0.4%, to $44.77 by 11:38 a.m. EDT (1538 GMT), but still heading for a rise of 0.9% this week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was down 19 cents, or 0.5%, at $42.05 and was on track for a 2% rise.

      Such "baseless rumours or messages" have apparently "impacted some of our listed company stocks in the last few days" and it may approach the "regulatory authorities for suitable action thereof", according to a regulatory filing by the group firm Future Retail.

      Big Bazaar has scheduled ground duty to all its senior managers and CXOs to ensure the last-mile operation is on and to fill for store staff shortage. Spencer’s Retail and Nature’s Basket have set up a virtual war room where the company’s senior team and store-level staff hold coordination meetings twice every day.

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