Bharti eyes equal partnership with Wal-Mart in retail JV

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Bharti eyes equal partnership with Wal-Mart in retail JV
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Bharti Airtel is in talks with US based retailer Wal-Mart to form a 50:50 retail joint venture in India, as per media reports.

After government of India approved 51% in FDI retail Multi branding, the two companies have come forward to make business in retail segment. However, Bharti and Wal-Mart are already in partnership in wholesale cash and carry venture.

Bharti Enterprises' Vice Chairman and MD Rajan Bharti Mittal, speaking to a media, said "Talks have started...when they had an opportunity to go 100% they went 50-50 with Bharti. Now, with the opening of the front-end, discussions are on the table and hopefully that relationship we have enjoyed in the last five years will continue," Mittal told a TV channel when asked if Bharti supported a 51% stake for the US company. Pressed further on the possibility of Bharti retaining 50% stake and Walmart not going for majority stake in the multi-brand venture, Mittal said: "That is what I am trying to say."

Raj Jain, managing director & CEO of Bharti Wal-Mart, the wholesale cash-and-carry joint venture, had told TOI that the retail behemoth would prefer a majority stake in a new front-end retail company for which Bharti Enterprises is a "natural partner". "Under the policy, a foreign retailer can have up to 51% stake and our objective would be to have that," Jain had said.

The shares of the company was seen trading lower by 0.50% at Rs 263 on BSE in early morning trade at 9.20 am IST.

Read more about: bharti, walmart, fdi, government
Story first published: Monday, October 1, 2012, 9:24 [IST]
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