JC Flowers, Reliance Retail Ventures among 48 bidders for Future Retail

This month, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had granted an extension of 90 days for conducting the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) of FRL and extended it to June 15, 2023

Sharleen Dsouza Mumbai
Reliance Retail

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Future Retail (FRL) has put up the final list of 48 bidders that have submitted their expressions of interest (EoIs) to acquire FRL.
These bidders include JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction, Reliance Retail Ventures, WH Smith Travel and April Moon Retail (a joint venture between Adani Airports Holding and Flemingo Group). They also include Jindal Power and a host of recycling companies, according to FRL’s stock exchange filing. 

This comes after FRL put up a list of 49 companies, which had submitted EoIs on April 10, 2023, after the company’s lenders decided to invite fresh bids.
Bommidala Enterprises, which had earlier submitted an EoI, said it will not be submitting a resolution plan, according to the filing. 

This month, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had granted an extension of 90 days for conducting the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) of FRL and extended it to June 15, 2023.
Last month, creditors to FRL had invited EoIs for the company and its assets.  

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In its exchange filing on March 1, the company had said that it failed to get a plan for revival. It added that lenders would decide the further course of action.
On March 23, 2023, creditors of FRL invited fresh EoIs whereby prospective buyers can bid for the debt-ridden firm “as a going concern or individual cluster or a combination of clusters of its assets.” This came after it failed to attract a resolution plan in more than four months.

Earlier, it had received EoIs and finalised 11 prospective bidders, including Reliance and April Moon Retail. But, it could not get a resolution plan despite two extensions in the deadline for submission.
The committee of creditors (CoC) had provided two options in the EoI, for which the last date of submission was April 7, 2023.

In the first option, the prospective resolution applicant (PRA) could bid for the acquisition of FRL as a whole, including its shareholding interest in the subsidiaries.
Under the second option, FRL’s business was distributed into five clusters and PRAs could bid for “any individual cluster or any combination of clusters.”

“Having regard to the complexity and scale of operations of FRL, the resolution professional has, in consultation with and prior approval of the CoC of FRL, categorised the business of the corporate debtor into five clusters,” the new EoI said.
The CIRP was initiated against FRL by its lender Bank of India following loan defaults.

Under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC), an EoI was invited from prospective bidders on October 4, 2022.
The Mumbai Bench of the NCLT, in July 2022, admitted the Bank of India’s petition under Section 7 of IBC to start insolvency proceedings against FRL and also appointed an interim resolution professional. 

With inputs from PTI 


First Published: Apr 24 2023 | 8:55 PM IST

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