On Thursday, Amazon made a much anticipated move to tap into the Indian retail market by acquiring 49% stakes in Future Group’s promoter entity – Future Coupons. Future Group is an Indian corporate group that runs popular retail chains such as Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar.
“As part of the agreement, Amazon has been granted a call option. This call option allows Amazon to acquire all or part of the Promoters’ shareholding in Future Retail Ltd, and is exercisable between the 3rd to 10th years, in certain circumstances, subject to applicable law,” the company said in an exchange filing.
Future Group owns two top retail companies – Future Retail and Future Lifestyle Fashions. Future Retail operates the retail supermarket chains including FBB, Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar and Hometown among others. While lifestyle stores such as Central and Brand Factory are operated by Future Lifestyle Fashions. The Group’s subsidiaries also include fashion and sports brands Spalding, Lombard, Converse, Bare, etc. and also Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) like Clean Mate, Baker Street, Ektaa, Premium Harvest and many others.
As of June 2019, the Future Retail has 1,577 stores in 437 Indian cities. Its popular supermarket chain Big Bazaar has around 293 stores in more than 130 cities in India. In February, Future Retail reported raising Rs. 2000 crore from Future Coupons.
But as revised Indian ownership norms restrict e-commerce entities from having stakes in sellers, Future Retail will route its stake sale through Future Coupons so that Amazon can adhere to the rules, the Economic Times reported.
Financial details of the investment weren’t disclosed.