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Report: Walmart may sell 49% stake in Indian wholesale business to Tata Group

Tata Group, the Indian conglomerate run by holding company Tata Sons Private Ltd., is in talks with Walmart Inc. to acquire 49% of the U.S. retailer's cash-and-carry business in India, The Economic Times (India) reported Dec. 20, citing multiple sources aware of the development.

The deal will reportedly enable the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer to expand its wholesale business, dubbed Best Price Modern Wholesale, across India, utilizing Tata Group's stronghold over the local market. Tata Group, in turn, will be able to expedite its retail expansion plans, the report said.

"The partnership will bring in funds for Walmart India Pvt.Ltd. and it will enable the Tata Group to foray into the domestic cash-and-carry business," a source told the news daily.

However, sources reportedly said the deal may be delayed further due to the ongoing uncertainty at Tata Group, especially after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal's recent order to reinstate Cyrus Mistry as the group's chairman.

Walmart entered India in 2007 through a venture with local conglomerate Bharti Enterprises to set up its Best Price stores. The retailer operates 28 Best Price stores across the country and also runs an e-commerce marketplace through its unit Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd.

Walmart India and Tata Group did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment.