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February 16, 2010

INDIA: Future Group admits JV talks with global retailers

Indian conglomerate Future Group has confirmed that it is mulling the formation of a joint venture with a number of international retailers.

Indian conglomerate Future Group has confirmed that it is mulling the formation of a joint venture with a number of international retailers.

“We are in talks with different retailers for a possible tie up,” a spokesperson for the group told just-food.

However, Future has remained coy over the identities of these unnamed global players.

The confirmation follows long-running speculation that the Indian groceries-to-finance giant could be preparing to announce a tie-up with French retailer Carrefour through its retail unit Pantaloon Retail.

Carrefour has said that it will open its first cash-and-carry outlet in India this year.

However, under India’s rules governing foreign direct investment, the French multi-brand retailer is prohibited from selling directly to consumers.

In order to circumvent these rules and establish a foothold in the rapidly-developing Indian retail sector, a number of international retailers have established joint ventures with local firms.

US behemoth Wal-Mart operates a cash-and-carry JV with Bharti Enterprises, while the UK’s Tesco has established an Indian presence in collaboration with Tata Group.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Metro Group operates wholesale stores independently in the market.

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