New Delhi, October 9, 2013 – Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced today that they 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 finalization of definitive agreements and receipt of the requisite regulatory approvals.
Upon receipt of required clearances, Walmart would acquire Bharti’s stake in Bharti Walmart Private Limited, a joint venture between Bharti and Walmart, giving Walmart 100 percent ownership of the Best Price Modern Wholesale cash and carry business. Walmart plans to continue to grow this business while working with the government and interested stakeholders to create conditions that enable foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.
As part of the proposed transactions, Bharti will acquire the Compulsory Convertible Debentures (CCDs) held by Walmart in Cedar Support Services, a company owned and controlled by Bharti. Bharti Retail will continue to operate ‘easyday’ retail stores across all formats and invest in and grow the business.
Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman and MD, Bharti Enterprises said: “Bharti is committed to building a world-class retail venture and will continue to invest in Bharti Retail across all formats. We believe that with our current footprint of 212 stores, we have a strong platform to significantly grow the business and delight customers. We wish Walmart the very best for the future.”
Speaking on the occasion, Scott Price, President and CEO Walmart Asia said: “Given the circumstances, our decision to operate independently will be beneficial to both parties. Through Walmart’s investment in India, including our cash and carry business, supply chain infrastructure, direct farm program and supplier development, we want to serve India and its people, and continue to make important social and environmental contributions to the country. Walmart is committed to businesses that serve our members and provide good returns for our shareholders, and we will continue to advocate for investment conditions that allow FDI multi-brand retail in India. We wish Bharti well as they grow their retail business.”
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better -- anytime and anywhere -- in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our 10,955 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at
http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/WalmartNewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and
About Bharti Enterprises:
Bharti Enterprises is one of India’s leading business groups with interests in telecom, agri business, financial services, retail and manufacturing. Bharti has been a pioneering force in the Indian telecom sector with many firsts and innovations to its credit. Bharti Airtel Limited, the group's flagship company, is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. The Company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers.
Other business ventures of the group include Bharti Softbank - a JV between Bharti Enterprises and Softbank Corp - for mobile internet. Beetel Teletech, a group company, is India’s leading manufacturer and distributor of telecom and allied products. The group has a JV –FieldFresh Foods – with Del Monte Pacific Ltd, to offer fresh and processed fruits and vegetables in the domestic as well as international markets. Bharti has JVs with AXA, world leader in financial protection and wealth management, for Life Insurance and General Insurance. The group has presence in the retail sector through Bharti Retail that operates stores in multiple formats. It also has a JV - Bharti Wal-Mart - with Wal-Mart for wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations in India.