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Former A-G arbitrates high-stakes $4.6b case

Former A-G arbitrates high-stakes $4.6b case

Source: Straits Times
Article Date: 09 Nov 2020
Author: K.C. Vijayan

Amazon had invoked the arbitration proceedings based on a shareholders' agreement inked after it had bought a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons.

Former Singapore attorney-general V. K. Rajah presided as the sole arbitrator last month in a dispute pitting US e-commerce giant Amazon against a company led by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani over a US$3.4 billion (S$4.58 billion) deal.

According to Indian media reports, Amazon had sought to halt a bid by India's Future Group to sell its sprawling retail and wholesale business to Mr Ambani's Reliance Industries.

Amazon had brought the case to the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), where an emergency arbitration hearing was held, presided solely by Senior Counsel Rajah. It is understood Amazon had invoked the arbitration proceedings based on a shareholders' agreement inked after it had bought a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons, one of Future Group's unlisted firms.

For now, Future Group's sale to Reliance will be put on hold, pending a full hearing of the dispute in arbitration proceedings at SIAC.

The deal involves one of the biggest sums in a single case administered by the centre.

Mr Rajah, 63, served as A-G from 2014 to 2017 and as a Judge of Appeal in the Supreme Court from 2007 to 2014. Currently operating from Essex Court Chambers Duxton ( Singapore Group Practice), he is a highly sought-after international arbitrator.

His experience as chair and panel arbitrator covers significant institutional and ad hoc arbitrations where those involved included governments, multinational companies and major international commercial businesses.

K. C. Vijayan

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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