IFCI notice against encumbrance of Future Brands’s assets

Over a month after banks issued notices against the encumbrance of Future Retail and Future Enterprises’s assets, IFCI has issued a similar notice against anybody moving to deal with Future Brands’s securities over which it holds an exclusive charge.

The state-owned non-banking financial company (NBFC) on Tuesday said it has an exclusive charge over Baroda Central, a commercial complex spread over 180,000 sqft owned by Iskrupa Mall Management Company. Iskrupa Mall Management Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bansi Mall Management Company, a Future Group company, according to a CareEdge Ratings report on February 25.

The notice said IFCI also holds an exclusive charge over four brands owned by the borrower – John Miller, Cleanmate, Tasty Treat and Morpankh.

“IFCI notifies the public at large that IFCI being the chargeholder of the aforesaid assets has not given consent to anyone to deal with the properties in any manner,” the notice said. It also warned the public against dealing in the properties.

Meanwhile, Future Retail said its USD-denominated notes listed on the Singapore Exchange have been downgraded to ‘CC’ from ‘CCC-’ by S&P. The rating agency viewed the default by Future Retail on its senior secured notes as a virtual certainty following the cancellation of the scheme of arrangement between Future Group entities and Reliance Group entities. “The likelihood of FRL failing to make the next coupon payment due on 22nd July, 2022, and any potential accelerated repayment of its notes, has risen significantly,” S&P said.

The issuance of the notice by IFCI gains significance in the light of the fact that banks have already moved an insolvency petition against Future Retail and are expected to do so against other Future Group companies, even as at least one bank has already approached the debt recovery tribunal (DRT) to claim its dues.

The banks’ action in March was prompted by Reliance Retail’s move to take over 947 stores belonging to Future Retail after the latter defaulted on lease payments. Banks reacted against what they saw as a violation of the charge they held over the retailer’s assets. Last week, they rejected a takeover plan proposed by the Reliance Group on concerns about the deal valuation.

According to a November 26, 2021, report by Acuite Ratings, Future Brands has bank loans worth Rs 806.25 crore. Future Brands was incorporated in 2006 and is 98.06% owned by Future Ideas Company and Surplus Finvest as on March 31, 2019.

It is a brand and intellectual property (IP) right company focusing on creating, developing, managing, nurturing and acquiring brands, the report said.

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