Amazon is laying off “several hundred employees” from its Alexa devision, including in India, amid a renewed focus on artificial intelligence (AI), the media reported on Friday.
Reliance Retail Ventures (RRV), the retail arm of Reliance Industries, has extended the date for completion of its Rs 24,713 crore deal with Kishore Biyani-led future group by another six months as the latter is fighting a legal battle with e-commerce giant Amazon.
In a regulatory filing Future Retail said, RRVL has extended the timeline for the “Long Stop Date” from March 31, 2021 to September 30, 2021.
Long Stop—established practice in mergers and acquisition transaction—is a timeframe in which parties agree on which all the conditions precedent for a transaction need to be fulfilled and the transaction completed.
“Pursuant to the provisions of scheme and other transaction documents executed in relation thereto, RRVL has in exercise of the right provided thereunder, extended the timeline for ‘Long Stop Date’ from March 31, 2021 to September 30, 2021 which has been duly acknowledged by Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited, wholly-owned subsidiary of RRVL,” it added.
The RIL-Future Group deal between is pending before the Supreme Court. The next hearing is scheduled to be held on April 27.
The deal, which was announced on August 29, 2020, has already received clearance from regulators such as CCI, SEBI and bourses, and the scheme of arrangement is now awaiting the nod from the NCLT and shareholders.
Though the Supreme Court has granted a go-ahead to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for its proceedings but has asked it not to pass any final order sanctioning the scheme. The NCLT has reserved its order over the scheme of arrangement in which all the Future Group’s retail assets would be consolidated under Future Enterprises Ltd and then would be transferred to RRVL through sale.
On March 22, a Single Member Bench of the Delhi High Court had directed the Future Group to stay the deal. However, this was challenged by the Future Group before the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court, which later stayed the order of the Single Member bench.
Prior to that, the Delhi High Court had imposed a monetary penalty on the Kishore Biyani-led group for breaching an arbitration order delivered by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October last year. The US e-commerce major had argued that the Future Group had violated their contract by entering into the deal with rival Reliance.
Troubled Future Group is putting all efforts to expedite the deal with RRV to pay creditors and save its mega-retail chain, Big Bazaar from a possible collapse.