Reliance to tie up with Marks & Spencer
New Delhi, April 19, 2008
India's giant Reliance Group said it will partner leading British retail chain Marks and Spencer in a retail foray in India.
'We are taking 49 per cent in the joint venture while Marks and Spencer will take 51 per cent,' a senior Reliance official said.
Under the deal, both companies will invest up to £29 million ($57.7 million) in the joint venture, the companies said.
'India is a very exciting opportunity for Marks and Spencer and a market where there is the potential for MS to become a major retail brand,' Marks and Spencer chief executive Stuart Rose said.
'Reliance Retail is the ideal partner for us to accelerate our expansion and create the opportunity to open much bigger Marks and Spencer stores,' he added.
The new joint venture will have the right to operate Marks and Spencer stores in India, selling items such as homewares and clothing for women, men and children.
It plans to open at least 50 new stores in India over the coming five years.
The announcement comes as Marks and Spencer has said it aims to grow its international business to 15 per cent to 20 per cent of group revenues within the next five years.
The British retailer is seeking to establish itself as a 'major retail brand' in South Asia.