Bharti Retail-Walmart partnership stalls

By Marc Castro

Oct 06, 2013 06:01 PM EDT

Walmart Stores Asia head Scott Price, contrary to previous reports, said a conversion of the current franchisee agreement with Bharti Retail into a joint venture is 'not tenable'. He added that both companies are still looking for ways to move forward with the partnership.

These remarks were made at the sidelines of the ongoing APEC conference held in Bali, Indonesia. He said, "We created a franchise in retail with Bharti in the hopes that there could be a potential freeing up (of foreign direct investment) that would allow it to be potentially be the base of the business. But frankly, the FDI has passed."

He added, "That means the existing franchise to Bharti is not tenable as the base. What we are talking about with Bharti is what we do with that business." Price referred to the Bharti Retail Easyday chain with an operations umbrella of 200 stores all over tIndia. 

This is the second communique issued by top Walmart and Bharti officials in less than a week. The recent remarks indicate the surrounding uncertainty between the two firms. 

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