India’s Reliance Retail has insisted it remains locked in talks with Marks & Spencer over a potential tie-up between the two companies – despite reports that the UK retailer will take a majority stake in the venture.
A Reliance spokesperson dismissed local reports that claimed M&S would take a 51% stake in the business and said an agreement had yet to be reached.
“Negotiations with M&S are still not complete; there are many issues to look at before we finalize an agreement,” the spokesperson told just-food. “Media reports about stake ownership are not accurate and we have not officially given out any such information. We are not ready to make any statements based on media speculation.”
M&S has 13 franchised outlets in India operated by Planet Retail, which mostly sell clothing.
The possible venture with Reliance would focus on selling food and clothing, although M&S is understood to also be in talks with local conglomerate Krishna Group, for a tie-up in the apparel sector.