Tesco to invest $110 million in Indian joint venture with Tata Group

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Dec 17, 2013 10:39 AM EST

Britain's Tesco PLC is set to become the first foreign supermarket to venture into India's $500 billion retail sector, a Reuters report said. Tesco on Tuesday announced that it had applied to buy a 50% stake in Indian conglomerate Tata Group's Trent Hypermarket Ltd.

Reuters, citing an official at the Indian trade ministry, said that Tesco has made an application to India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board. The world's third-largest retailer plans to invest $110 million in Trent. Tesco already had a franchise agreement to provide support for Trent's Star Bazaar chain. 

Tesco's decision brings much-needed relief to the Indian government, which had failed to attract single application since September 2012. Last year, India allowed foreign investors to own up to 51% of their operations in the country, the report said.

According to Reuters, Tesco plans to invest in Star Bazaar's stores in the western state of Maharashtra and neighboring Karnataka. Star Bazaar currently runs 16 stores in southern and western India.

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