Wal-Mart and partner Bharti Enterprises call off India JV


MUMBAI, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc andits Indian partner Bharti Enterprises are breaking up theirjoint venture and will independently own and operate separatebusinesses in the country, the companies said in a jointstatement on Wednesday.

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, will acquireBharti's 50 percent stake in Bharti Wal-Mart Pvt Ltd, which runsabout 20 wholesale stores in India under the Best Price ModernWholesale brand, and will run the business independently.

As part of their agreement, Bharti will acquire thecompulsory convertible debentures (CCDs) held by Wal-Mart inCedar Support Services, a company owned and controlled byBharti.

India last year allowed foreign supermarket companies to ownup to 51 percent of their local operations, but no company hasapplied to enter the country under the rule.

Wal-Mart will work with the government to create conditionsthat enable foreign direct investment in India's supermarketsector, the statement added.

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