India’s NSE has warned Future Retail to take action on disclosures on the Amazon dispute: emails

NEW DELHI / MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s National Exchange (NSE) privately warned Future Retail that it would risk regulatory action for failing to promptly provide market information on Amazon.com’s efforts to block a disputed asset sale, according to e-mails reviewed by Reuters.

Future Retail, a major retailer in the country, has been locked in a bitter dispute with Amazon over its $ 3.4 billion retail asset deal with Reliance Industries. Amazon is a trading partner of Future and claims that the sale of the Indian firm’s business violated some of their pre-existing agreements.

Amazon had complained on the stock exchange, accusing Future of misleading the public by providing incorrect market information, allegations that the Indian group denies.

The lawsuit came after Amazon won an injunction on October 25 from an arbiter to stop the Future-Reliance agreement.

Previously unreported emails exchanged between NSE and Future show that the exchange has repeatedly requested the company to submit more details on the arbitration order, looking for details on the possible impact on financials, lenders and the Reliance affair.

On October 27, the NSE asked Future why he had not disclosed the start of the arbitration proceedings and shared the impact of the order. Future in response said they believed no disclosure was required.

The Compliance Division of the NSE Lists rejected this argument. It requested a series of disclosures within hours, “failing what appropriate action can be taken,” the emails showed.

Future Retail business secretary Virendra Samani answered most of NSE’s questions in a late night email on Oct.30, saying she was doing it “in the best interest of all stakeholders,” they showed. communications.

Many of these responses were made public on NSE guidance two days later in a six-page exchange by Future.

Prior to that, Future had only filed a disclosure on October 26 in which he attaches a press release saying he would ensure his deal with Reliance was progressing smoothly and that he was reviewing the arbitration order.

NSE and Future Retail did not respond to requests for comment.

The legal dispute has now reached the Delhi High Court, where Future Retail has urged the court to stop Amazon from writing letters to regulators to block its Reliance deal, which is pending approval from the market regulator and the stock exchanges. The judge is expected to rule on the reason in the next few days.

Amazon had separately asked the Indian market regulator to investigate Future for insider trading, saying it disclosed the price-sensitive details of the arbitration order to Reliance prior to its swap filing in late October.

Future said his communications with Reliance, led by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, were for a “legitimate purpose”.

NSE in email at least twice asked Future Retail to provide a copy of the arbitration order to review the disclosures, and also why it shouldn’t be disclosed as price sensitive information, as emails showed between 27 October and October 30th.

Future’s Samani initially declined the request, stating in an email that the order was “confidential in nature” and sharing additional information could be “deterrent” to the company. A copy was provided after the NSE warning.

Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Abhirup Roy; Montage of Lincoln Feast.