The five year old saga of Bharti Walmart Pvt Ltd has come to an end with media reports confirming the much speculated break-up between the two. Last week Bharti Enterprise Chairman, Sunil Mittal had stated that the two companies were reviewing their relationship. According to a Mint report, Mittal had said, “Within October, I would say, Wal-Mart should have taken a decision of their vision for India, and Bharti could have taken a decision whether it matches our aspirations.”
The speculation that the two companies were heading for a break-up began when, in early September, Hindustan Times reported that Wall-Mart is exploring pull-out option from this joint venture with Bharti Enterprises. After Mittal’s comment last week, Scott Price, president and CEO, Walmart Asia, also hinted that the two companies are weighing their options. He had said that the existing franchise to Bharti is ‘not tenable’ as the base.
Bharti Walmart Pvt. Ltd, which was formed in 2007, runs 19 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in India. According to Hindustan Times, in a joint statement, the companies said they have reached an agreement to independently own and operate separate business formats in India and discontinue their franchise agreement in the retail business.