Wal-mart Stores Inc and Bharti Group are locked in hectic negotiations to hammer out a deal, with each partner insisting on its pound of flesh, Hindustan Times reported. The Bharti-Walmart 50:50 wholesale JV, set up in 2007, earned more than `4,000 crore in revenues in 2012, sources said. Under the deal, Walmart will buy out Bharti’s stake in the venture.
The report added that two transition management teams have been set up from both sides — Bharti and Walmart — to aid the so called “de-merger”. The companies — Bharti Retail and Bharti Walmart — were functionally integrated between 2007 and 2010, although legally they remained separate firms.
Within 90-days, employees will be given a choice to move to either Bharti Retail or Walmart. Bharti Retail employs about 10,000 employees while Bharti Walmart has 8,000 staff on its rolls.
The report also says: Bharti is demanding a significant premium over the current gross profits to let go of its 50% stake in the cash-and-carry business that runs 20 wholesale stores under the Best Price brand, sources said. Besides, it is also insisting on a premium for ‘reputation’ loss. As part of the proposed transactions, Bharti will also need to acquire compulsory convertible debentures worth $100 million held by Walmart in Cedar Support Services, a company owned and controlled by Bharti that operates Easy Day retail stores. Bharti is insisting on getting this waived off, sources said.
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