Reliance defends takeover of Future stores in letter

India’s top retailer, Reliance, has privately defended an abrupt takeover of the stores of debt-laden rival Future Retail, saying mounting dues of $634 million compelled it to act beyond expectations, a company letter shows.

The takeover was part of the race to dominate a $900-billion retail sector that set off a bitter dispute in which India’s Supreme Court will decide whether Reliance or Inc gets to scoop up Future’s assets.

The March 8 letter, seen by Reuters, reveals for the first time Reliance’s stance on the events of the night of Feb. 25, when staff suddenly showed up at many of its rival’s stores to take control over missed lease payments.

That move shocked not only Future but also Amazon, which has cited violation of certain contracts to legally block, since 2020, a $3.4-billion deal between the two Indian giants.