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April 1, 2008

INDIA: Reliance, M&S talks rumble on

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.

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.

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