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Future Gets NCLT Go-ahead to Conduct Shareholders Meeting for Deal with Reliance: Sources

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The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Tuesday allowed Kishore Biyani-led Future Group firms to hold meetings of its shareholders and creditors to seek approval for the sale of assets to Reliance Retail Ltd. A Mumbai-based two-member NCLT bench comprising Suchitra Kanuparthi and Chandra Bhan Singh dismissed the application filed by e-commerce major Amazon opposing the scheme of merger of the Future group companies, sources close to the development said.

Emails sent to Amazon and Future did not elicit any response. Amazon had filed an application objecting to NCLT considering the scheme pending completion of its arbitration proceedings against Future Retail.

The NCLT dismissed Amazon’s application on the ground that it was premature, the sources said. Moreover, no prejudice is caused in conducting shareholders and creditors meetings for considering the scheme since it will be open to Amazon for raising objections when the scheme is filed for the NCLT’s final approval after the shareholders and creditors give the go-ahead, the sources added.

The NCLT also pointed out that the Supreme Court had only restrained it from pronouncing the final order approving the scheme, according to the sources. Now, it will be open for Future Group to obtain all preparatory approvals from shareholders and creditors. Future Group may be able to save at least 6-9 months time for the implementation of the scheme in the scenario of it winning the arbitration, the sources added.

The scheme of arrangement between Future and Reliance Retail entails the consolidation of Future Group’s retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing assets into one entity — Future Enterprises Ltd — and then transferring it to Reliance Retail. In August last year, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) had said it will acquire the retail and wholesale business, and the logistics and warehousing business of Future Group for Rs 24,713 crore.

The deal has been contested by Amazon, an investor in Future Coupons that in turn is a shareholder in Future Retail Ltd. In August 2019, Amazon had agreed to purchase 49 per cent of one of Future’s unlisted firm, Future Coupons Ltd (which owns 7.3 per cent equity in BSE-listed Future Retail through convertible warrants), with the right to buy into the flagship Future Retail after a period of 3 to 10 years.

After Future’s deal with RRVL, Amazon had dragged Future into arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). In October, an interim award was passed by the Emergency Arbitrator (EA) in favour of the US-e-commerce major that barred Future Retail from taking any step to dispose of or encumber its assets or issuing any securities to secure any funding from a restricted party.

Amazon and Future have also filed litigations in Indian courts, including the Supreme Court, on the issue. The apex court had recently ruled in favour of Amazon by holding that the EA award was valid and enforceable under Indian laws. Notably, the Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Ltd, on August 28, said it has approached the Supreme Court against an order passed by the Delhi High Court to maintain status quo in relation to the deal and directing it to enforce the order of the Singapore-based Emergency Arbitrator.

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“The key is to develop yourself at least 1 percent every time,” says Niranjan Hiranandani, MD of Hiranandani Group at Bigleap 2021 Startup Awards

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 28 (ANI/PRNewswire): SidAngel, An Angel Fund for early-stage startups based in Mumbai, and Nation Builder Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Vichar Mahotsav Samiti organized the Bigleap 2021 Startup Awards ceremony at Hotel Hilton on Sunday, 26th September.

The awards were presented across three categories – The Best Startup of the Year, Women Entrepreneur of the Year, and ‘Eco Startup of the Year.’

Sand Bird, an electronic tractor manufacturing company, won the best startup of the year award. Rutuja Udyawar, the founder of Optimum Data Analytics, a startup working on Smart assistive devices for visually impaired people, won ‘The Women Entrepreneur of The Year’ award, and Hachimichi Tech, an automated toilet seat tech company, won ‘The Eco Startup of the Year’ award.

The award ceremony took place in the presence of a grand jury including industry stalwarts like Niranjan Hiranandani, MD – Hiranandani Group, Dr. Harshadeep Kamble, Secretary – Small & Medium Enterprise, Ms. Kalpana Saroj, Chairperson – Kamani Tubes, Ms. Praveena Rai, COO – NPCI, Mahesh Joshi, Executive Director – Pitambari Products and many more. The top 20 finalist startups, along with Incubation partners, were also present at the award ceremony. The startup founders were inspired and moved by the thoughts shared by Niranjan Hiranandani on improving at least 1 percent every time one did that same thing. Harshadeep Kamble quoted the Economist cum revolutionist, ‘Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’ and said, “Let us grow together. The world is big enough for every one of us to grow.”

“Bigleap competition was a great learning experience. Guiding sessions and workshops conducted between the assessment rounds helped us tremendously with the progress of our product. This award is assurance for my entire team that we are on the right track, and it is an encouragement for our further growth path. SidAngel is doing a great job of providing a platform to budding entrepreneurs,” says Rutuja Udyawar, winner of the Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Bigleap 2021 is the second edition of the Bigleap Startup Awards. This year, the competition started in August with 500+ startup participants, out of which only the top 20 got a chance to pitch in front of the grand jury panel. The complete event wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance of the advisory board, which includes Mr. Vijay Waghmare, Secretary – Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Protection, Mr.Nikhil Meshram, Director of Finance – MMMOC, Mr. Vinit Bansode, Celebrity Graphologist & Business Coach, Mr. Dheeraj Bhagat, Co-founder, and Director – GreatPlace IT Services, Mr. Sandeep Dongre, President & Head of Business Development – Droom, Mr. Shailesh Tamgadge, CEO – Stuvio and Mr. Suraj Gaydhane, Serial Entrepreneur & Startup Mentor.

The event was sponsored by Sahakar Global, MEP Infrastructure Developers, TSI Business Park, Pitambari Products & Mystical Propack. More than fifteen incubation centers and startup ecosystems have supported SidAngel’s initiative to foster and build the startup ecosystem in India.

This story is provided by PRNewswire. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/PRNewswire)

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(This story has not been edited by PRESS24 NEWS staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

 

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Markets regulator Sebi clears framework for social stock exchange

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Markets regulator Sebi on Tuesday decided on a framework for the social stock exchange for fund raising by social enterprises.


The framework for the Social Stock Exchange (SSE) has been developed on the basis of the recommendations of a working group and technical group constituted by the regulator.





After the board meeting on Tuesday, Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi said that SSE will be a separate segment of the existing stock exchanges.


Social Enterprises (SEs) eligible to participate in the SSE should be entities — Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) and for-profit social enterprises — having social intent and impact as their primary goal.


Also, such an intent should be demonstrated through its focus on eligible social objectives for the underserved or less privileged populations or regions.


The social enterprises will have to engage in a social activity out of the list of 15 broad activities approved by Sebi.


When asked about timeline for the SSE, Tyagi said that he can’t specify the timeline for the exchange and will coordinate with government to take it ahead.


With regard to fund raising, Sebi said eligible NPOs may raise funds through equity, zero-coupon zero principal bonds, mutual funds, social impact funds, and development impact bonds.


NPOs desirous of raising funds on the SSE will required to be registered with the exchange.


The regulator said that social venture funds under Sebi’s Alternative Investment Funds norms will be rechristened as social impact funds. Also, the corpus requirements for such funds will be reduced from Rs 20 crore to Rs 5 crore. Further, the reference to “muted returns” will be removed.


Sebi said it will make suitable amendments to its regulatory framework, towards mandating initial and continuous disclosures for social enterprises, covering aspects relating to governance, financial and social impact.


It, further, said that social audit will be mandated for SEs raising funds or registered on SSE. To begin with only reputed firms/ institutions having expertise in the area of social audit will be allowed to carry out social audits employing social auditors who have qualified the certification course conducted by NISM.


Further, a separate sustainability directorate under ICAI will function as an SRO for social auditors.


The regulator said it will engage with NABARD, SIDBI and stock exchanges towards institution of a capacity building fund, with a corpus of Rs 100 crore.


Operationalisation of the framework will require amendments to several norms and those will be taken up by Sebi, the regulator said.


In May, a Sebi panel suggested that corporate foundations, political and religious organisations, among other entities should not be allowed to be on the SSE.


The social stock exchange is a novel concept in India and such a bourse is meant to serve private and non-profit sector providers by channelling greater capital to them.


The idea of SSE was first floated by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget Speech 2019-20.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the PRESS24 NEWS staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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PRESS24 NEWS has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

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Sebi eases delisting norms in boost to M&A activity

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Tuesday eased the delisting framework – a move seen as boosting M&A activity in the country. The Sebi board also cleared the framework to roll out social stock exchanges and gold spot exchanges in the country. The market regulator also tightened the norms around related party transactions (RPTs) to prevent their abuse. On the other hand, rules around issue of shares with superior voting rights were eased to allow the founders of unlisted technology companies more leeway to retain control in their firms by raising capital.


Ceding to the long-pending industry demand, the regulator allowed an acquirer to launch both the open offer and delisting bid simultaneously. Experts said the change in delisting rules remove the lacuna in the existing framework.





Currently, an entity acquiring control in a listed company has to make a mandatory open offer to buy 26 per cent stake from public shareholders. If following the open offer, the promoter shareholding increases beyond 75 per cent, the acquirer has to bring it down to below the 75 per cent threshold before attempting a delisting bid, which again requires the acquirer to hike its stake to 90 per cent.


“The delisting reform proposed by Sebi takes away a big hurdle in public M&As which until now disallowed acquirers to delist a target company seamlessly. For the first time First time an acquirer can now attempt a delisting by offering what they believe is a commercially reasonable price without having to worry about an exorbitant price thrown up by the reverse book building method,” said Vikram Raghani, Partner, J Sagar Associates.


The framework permitting simultaneous open offer and delisting bids has several checks and balances to ensure the rights of public shareholders are protected. For instance, the acquirer will have to disclose the intent to delist upfront at the time of making an open offer. Also, acquirers will have to disclose two separate offer prices—one for open offer and one for delisting.


“If the response to the open offer leads to the delisting threshold of 90 per cent being met, all shareholders who tender their shares shall be paid the same delisting price and if the response to the offer leads to the delisting threshold of 90 per cent not being met, all shareholders who tender their shares shall be paid the same takeover price,” said Sebi in a release.


RPTs get tougher


Sebi tightened the definition of what would qualify as RPTs and also extended it to transactions with shareholders holding 10 per cent or more in the company.


“RPT are misused by many entities in various ways, including siphoning of funds. Hence, there was a need to tighten the framework and safeguard the minority shareholders,” Sebi chairman, Ajay Tyagi said while addressing the media following the board meeting.


“The move to amend the definition of related parties is to ensure higher corporate governance standards for RPTs in listed companies, especially, with entities which are related or connected to the promoter group. Such RPTs will undergo a greater scrutiny as they will require audit committee approval,” said Manendra Singh, Associate Partner, Economic Laws Practice.


Superior voting rights


In 2019, Sebi had issued a framework around issuance of SR shares. However, not many companies were able to take its advantage as it was considered too restrictive. Earlier, an SRs could be issued only by individuals who were part of a promoter group with net worth of less than Rs 500 crore. The threshold has now been increased to Rs 1,000 crore. Further, the minimum gap between issuance of SR shares and filing of IPO document reduced to three months from the earlier requirement of six months.


Framework for ‘gold spot’ and ‘social stock’ exchanges (SSE) approved


The regulator also paved the way to set up ‘gold spot’ and ‘social stock’ exchanges in the country. Gold traded in the proposed exchanges will be called an ‘electronic gold receipt’. Sebi has said the trading, clearing and settlement will be similar to other securities currently traded one exchanges. Meanwhile, a SSE shall be a separate segment of the existing stock exchanges. Both for-profit and not-for-profit entities will be allowed to raise capital for social causes on this platform. Also, silver becomes the second commodity after gold that investors will be able to buy through the mutual fund route as exchange traded funds (ETFs).

Dear Reader,

PRESS24 NEWS has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

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