India's Pantaloon Retail has played down local reports that its owner Future Group is looking to form a joint venture in the country with a multinational retailer.

Reports in India claimed that Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani is mulling plans to split hypermarket chain Big Bazaar in two, with one business serving consumers and the other becoming a B2B unit.

However, Pantaloon spokesperson Atul Takle told just-food today (1 July) that the report was "mere speculation".

Takle also cooled claims that Pantaloon had decided to abandon its plans for a rural cash-and-carry business, KB's Wholesale Market.