New Delhi: Future Enterprises, burdened by its debts, has a new contender vying for its valuable assets. Rumour has it that Jindal India has presented a secretive debt resolution proposal as part of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) proceedings. This development comes at a time when Reliance Retail, owned by the illustrious Mukesh Ambani, is also competing to acquire the beleaguered company. Reliance Retail had recently sought an extension until October 30th to finalize its bid for Future Enterprises.
According to the Economic Times, the financial specifics of Jindal’s proposal are veiled in secrecy, as it was submitted in a sealed envelope, adding an air of intrigue to the situation. Back in July, Future Enterprises had disclosed receiving resolution proposals not only from Reliance Retail Ventures but also from Jindal India and GBTL, a textile manufacturer owned by Donear Industries.
Avil Menezes, the resolution professional representing these parties, labelled them as a “provisional list of prospective resolution applicants.” All of this stems from the National Company Law Tribunal’s acceptance of Future Enterprises, led by the notable Kishore Biyani, for corporate insolvency on February 27th. The NCLT initiated the corporate insolvency resolution process, paving the way for the company’s auction to recover outstanding debts.
Future Enterprises, under Kishore Biyani’s leadership, had incurred substantial borrowings in the form of bonds, prompting several trusteeship companies to file claims. The largest claim, amounting to Rs 3,344 crore, came from Centbank Financial Services, followed by Axis Trustee Services at Rs 1,341 crore and Vistra ITCL (India) at Rs 210 crore.
In June, Future Enterprises invited Expressions of Interest for its diverse businesses, spanning manufacturing, trading, and leasing of retail infrastructure across Maharashtra, Karnataka, and India. They also operate three manufacturing facilities in Tarapur-Boisar, Mahadevpura, and Anekal, Bengaluru.
In the same month, FEL reported that the Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) had received employee claims totalling Rs 2.58 crore, with Rs 2.24 crore of those claims being accepted. Additionally, the company received statutory dues amounting to Rs 14.75 crore from the state tax department and GST authorities. The stakes are high, and the intrigue surrounding Future Enterprises continues to grow.
The group and Reliance Retail announced Rs 24,700 crore deals in August 2020, whereby all the companies will consolidate into a single company and be transferred to the Reliance entity. The firms were submitted for debt resolution under IBC after the lenders eventually rejected this deal.