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Wal-Mart and partner Bharti Enterprises call off India JV

MUMBAI, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc and its Indian partner Bharti Enterprises are breaking up their joint venture and will independently own and operate separate businesses in the country, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

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

As part of their agreement, Bharti will acquire the compulsory convertible debentures (CCDs) held by Wal-Mart in Cedar Support Services, a company owned and controlled by Bharti.

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

Wal-Mart will work with the government to create conditions that enable foreign direct investment in India's supermarket sector, the statement added.