US retail giant Wal-Mart has begun talks with Bharti Enterprises over the possible formation of a joint-venture to roll out retail stores in India.

The two companies, which have an equal partnership in the wholesale business in India, are said to be looking to replicate this relationship in the retail business following the government’s decision to allow up to 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

A spokesperson for Wal-Mart in India told just-food today (1 October), the company is in discussions with its partner Bharti and will file its request with India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in the next 45-60 days.

By this time, the spokesperson said, “we will have greater clarity about our future plans”.

Last month, Wal-Mart Stores confirmed plans to expand its cash-and-carry network in India by the end of the year.

A spokesperson for the retail giant last month said its Bharti Wal-Mart venture would open between three and seven more stores by the end of the year. It has 17 cash-and-carries in India at present.

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Bharti Wal-Mart saw its sales reportedly double in 2011 although its losses increased.