Walmart, Bharti to independently pursue retail biz in India

Walmart, Bharti part ways in retail
New Delhi, Oct 9:  Ending speculations over future of their partnership, Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said on Wednesday that they are going separate ways for operations in the Indian retail sector.

Subsequently, the US retail major will buy out the Indian partner from their 50:50 wholesale cash and carry joint venture -Bharti Walmart, for an undisclosed sum.

In a joint statement, the companies said they have reached an agreement to independently own and operate separate business formats in India and discontinue their franchise agreement in the retail business. The agreement is subject to finalisation of definitive agreements and receipt of the requisite regulatory approvals, it said.

"Upon receipt of required clearances, Walmart would acquire Bharti's stake in Bharti Walmart Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between Bharti and Walmart, giving Walmart 100 per cent ownership of the Best Price Modern Wholesale cash and carry business," it said.

Bharti Retail will continue to operate its 'easyday' retail stores

Commenting on the development Bharti Enterprises Vice Chairman and MD Rajan Bharti Mittal said: "Bharti is committed to building a world-class retail venture and will continue to invest in Bharti Retail across all formats. We believe that with our current footprint of 212 stores, we have a strong platform to significantly grow the business and delight customers."

As part of the proposed transactions, Bharti will acquire the USD 100 million worth Compulsory Convertible Debentures (CCDs) held by Walmart in Cedar Support Services, a company owned and controlled by Bharti. Bharti Retail will continue to operate 'easyday' retail stores across all formats and invest in and grow the business.


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