The world’s largest retail chain Walmart Stores Inc and Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Group said on Wednesday they are going separate ways for operations in the Indian retail sector.
Walmart will acquire the Indian partner’s stake in the 50:50 wholesale venture Bharti group, which runs cash-and-carry stores under the 'Best Price Modern Wholesale' brand. It will make the venture a 100% subsidiary of the US giant, bringing the curtains down on a troubled alliance marred by government probes and allegations of corrupt practices.
Here's a timeline of the six-year old alliance of the two companies in India.
• August 2007
Walmart and Bharti group sets up 50:50 joint venture (JV) for wholesale cash-and-carry business in India
• May 2009
The JV launches its first cash-and-carry store under the `Best Price Modern Wholesale’ brand in Amritsar
• March 2010
Walmart invests $100 million through compulsorily convertible debentures (CCDs) in Cedar Support Services, a Bharti Group firm that allegedly operates front-end retail stores
• September 2012
Govt says it has received a letter from CPI Rajya Sabha MP P Achuthan raising specific questions on Walmart’s investment in Cedar Support Services
Govt allows upto 51% FDI in multi-brand retail
• November 2012
Bharti Walmart suspends five top executives as part of an ongoing investigation against alleged corrupt practices that Walmart has launched globally in countries including Mexico and Brazil
• December 2012
Government announces probe against Walmart’s reported disclosure to the US Senate that it spent about $25 million since 2008 on lobbying activities that included “enhanced market access for investment in India”
• June 2013
Walmart India CEO Raj Jain quits in a sudden turn of events with the company not elaborating the reasons. Ramnik Narsey replaces Jain.
• September 2013
The deadline for converting funds lent by Walmart through CCDs to a Bharti group company running front-end retail venture ends.
• October 2013
Both the companies call off the alliance stating they will go separate ways in both retail and wholesale ventures.