The knock-off between two of the wealthiest businessmen, Ambani and Bezos, is indeed interesting.
The bone of contention was Kishore Biyani-owned Future Retail Group, a company buried under mounting losses. Both Ambani and Bezos were willing to go to any extent to seal the deal and acquire Future Retail Limited (FRL) – but then, things went sour.
The Prize – India’s $900 billion retail market will grow to $1.3 trillion by 2024.
So Much For The Drama
So precisely one month ago, the $3.4 Bn deal between Reliance and Future was suspended because Future’s secured creditors voted against it. While FRL stood a chance to rise from the ashes, things got messy as Amazon accused Reliance of foul play. *Sigh*
The rub was that Amazon, exactly a year ago, had picked up a 49% in Future Coupons, giving them any right of first refusal over acquiring Future Retail. Quite expectedly, Amazon cried foul when RIL made its audacious move to step in to acquire Future.
The nimble-footed Reliance executed a smart strategy. It renamed a substantial part of Big Bazaar outlets to Smart Bazaar and took complete charge of the business. Future Retail’s 835 stores across formats (Big Bazaar, FBB, Easyday, and Heritage) are now under Reliance’s wing.
Slow And Steady ‘Lost’ The Race!
Reliance made its move at least 12 months ago. How Amazon was not aware of this and chose to react as late as March this year is inexplicable!
So what will Amazon do now? Bide its time for another move, or stay put?
Only time will tell!
Too long? Here’s a one-liner: Reliance wins the battle over Amazon by taking over 835 of Future Retail’s stores; Amazon is not happy about its deal collapse and accuses the two of foul play.