Tesco in secret talks with Indian partner: reportApril 3rd, 2008 - 5:40 pm ICT by admin
London, April 3 (IANS) Tesco, Britain’s largest retailer, is in talks with a secret Indian partner for a joint venture to launch “an assault on the Indian shopping market through the back door”, according to a report here Thursday. The supermarket giant, whose profits exceed two billion pounds, is in exclusive negotiations with the party that has been selected from a shortlist of 30 potential partners, the Daily Mail reported.
The deal will allow it to build food depots and establish a truck and transport network in preparation for an “expected relaxation of regulations”, the paper said.
It quoted sources in India as saying the partner is likely to be among a group that includes the National Dairy Development Board, Mahindra and Mahindra and Bombay Dyeing.
Tesco’s strategy and finance director Andrew Higginson told the paper, “We would never comment on specifics but are pleased with the way discussions are going.”
Another source said, “Tesco is well advanced with a partner in India. It has been looking for a long time and discussions are serious and substantial.”
Tesco failed in its first attempt to enter the Indian retail market after the 2006 collapse of talks with Bharti Enterprises, which finally went with the US retail giant Wal-Mart.
Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Mittal, asked about his decision, said last year, “The scale and size which the US retailer talked about is similar to what Bharti wants to do in the Indian market. This is a company that has helped revolutionise retail. Wal-Mart signifies speed, scale and size.”
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