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Marks & Spencer inks JV with Reliance Retail
19
Apr '08
Marks and Spencer Group plc (Marks & Spencer) announces an agreement to enter into a joint venture with Reliance Retail, part of the Reliance Industries Group, with the goal of establishing Marks & Spencer as a major retail brand in India.

Subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain conditions, including the receipt of approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board of the Government of India, Marks & Spencer will take a 51% interest in Marks and Spencer Reliance India Pvt Ltd¹ with Reliance Retail taking the remaining 49%.

The value of the initial investment into the JV will be up to £29m (in cash or in kind) between the parties, with both parties agreeing to provide further funding in the future.

The new joint venture will have the right to operate Marks & Spencer stores in India selling items such as women's, men's and children's clothing as well as homewares.

It will aim to open at least 50 new stores in India over the next five years. It is envisaged that Planet Retail, Marks & Spencer's existing franchise partner in India, will continue as a franchisee in respect of the 14 existing franchise stores.

This announcement is part of Marks & Spencer's plans to grow its international business to 15-20 per cent of Group revenues within the next five years.

Sir Stuart Rose, Chief Executive, Marks & Spencer said:
“India is a very exciting opportunity for Marks & Spencer and a market where there is the potential for M&S to become a major retail brand.

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