Wal-Mart splits from Bharti; stores on hold


World’s largest retail chain Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Group has called off their six-year old alliance in India, both the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday, bringing the curtains down on a troubled deal marred by government-probes and allegations of corrupt practices.

Wal-Mart will acquire the Indian partner’s stake in the 50:50 wholesale venture Bharti group which runs cash-and-carry stores under the `Best Price Modern Wholesale’ brand making it a 100% subsidiary of the US giant.

HT had reported on September 9, 2013 about the discussions between both the companies to part ways.

“They (both the companies) have reached an agreement to independently own and operate separate business formats in India and discontinue their franchise agreement in the retail business. The agreement is subject to finalisation of definitive agreements and receipt of the requisite regulatory approvals,” the joint statement said, ending weeks of speculation about the likely falling out of the two partners.

“Bharti is committed to building a world-class retail venture and will continue to invest in Bharti Retail across all formats. We wish Wal-Mart the very best for the future,” Rajan Bharti Mittal, vice chairman and MD, Bharti Enterprises, said.

“Given the circumstances, our decision to operate independently will be beneficial to both parties. We wish Bharti well as they grow their retail business,” Scott Price, president and CEO Wal-Mart Asia….

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