UK-based retailer Tesco's decision to apply for opening multi-brand retail stores in India in partnership with the Tatas has been based on business considerations and not driven by any "external pressure".
"Since the FDI policy was liberalised, we have reviewed various possibilities and the current proposal is an outcome of these reviews," Tesco CEO Asia Trevor Masters said in a statement.
Tesco Plc became the first global retailer to seek the government's approval to set up multi-brand outlets in India with a plan to invest USD 110 million in partnership with the Tata's Trent.
It has sought permission to acquire 50 per cent in Trent's wholly-owned subsidiary Trent Hypermarket Ltd, that runs Star Bazaar stores.
Masters further said: "Our decision to progress the applications has been based on business considerations and not driven by any external pressure".
He said that the company is working with Tata Group in India for over five years, supporting the development of their Star Bazaar stores.
"We have always said we'd like to get more involved in this exciting market," he added. In its super market stores, Tesco will sell 14 categories of products. The items to be sold at its stores include tea,coffee, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, dairy products, wine, liquor, textiles, footwear, furniture, electronics and jewellery.
This is the first application for multi-brand retailing since the government allowed 51 per cent foreign direct investment in the segment in September last year. It comes two months after Wal-Mart Stores and Bharti Enterprises said they would go their separate ways for retail operations in India. Tesco proposes to operate stores in India under various banners, including Star Bazaar, Star Daily and Star Market, with the tag line reading, 'A Tata and Tesco Enterprise.'