Wal-Mart nears India expansion

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: The joint venture between Wal-Mart and Bharti Retail is mostly said to be one-sided. However, it appears that the two companies might finalize an agreement early this week, on when Wal-Mart will enter India.

After years of lobbying the Indian government to allow foreign investment in multibrand retail stores, Wal-Mart entered into a deal with Bharti late last year to get access to the country's booming retail business.

Bharti retailers announced yesterday that it plans to invest $2 to $2.5 billion by 2015 to build approximately 10 million square feet of stores, employing 60,000 across 30 Indian cities each with a population greater than 1 million.

It is unclear whether Wal-Mart brand name will be used, but Bharti added that they would own the stores. The investments’ from Wal-Mart are not known.

Wal-Mart's role is focused on providing supply-chain and technology management to the venture. The Indian government has not raised any objections to a prospective deal so far, but the deal will be a subject of scrutiny adds an official.

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