Walmart ends Indian joint venture

Oct. 9, 2013 at 10:41 AM

NEW DELHI, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. discount retail giant Walmart said Wednesday it would buy Bharti Enterprises's half of their joint venture in India for an undisclosed sum.

The Economic Times reported the deal is subject to approval by regulators.

"Upon receipt of required clearances, Walmart would acquire Bharti's stake in Bharti Walmart Pvt. Ltd. ... giving Walmart 100 percent ownership of the Best Price Modern Wholesale cash and carry business," the companies said in a joint statement.

The business is currently a 50-50 venture.

Bharti has also agreed to purchase compulsory convertible debentures or CCDs worth $100 million held by Walmart in a company called Cedar Support Services.

CCDs are debt-like investments that are converted to equity at a contracted time.

Walmart's investment in Cedar Support Services is currently under investigation for market violations, the Times reported.

"Given the circumstances, our decision to operate independently will be beneficial to both parties," Walmart Asia President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Price said in a statement.

"Through Walmart's investment in India, including our cash and carry business, supply chain infrastructure, direct farm program and supplier development, we want to serve India and its people, and continue to make important social and environmental contributions to the country," Price said.

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