Parsvnath in talks with Carrefour, Casino Group for retail chain: report

Mumbai: Real estate firm Parsvnath Developers is in talks with French retail giants Carrefour and the Casino Group for setting up hypermarkets in India, reports quoting people close to the development said.

Reports said Carrefour, the world''s No. 2 retailer, was also in talks with Parsvnath to appoint the latter as its franchisee in India.

"We intend to enter retail with hypermarkets and supermarkets with a renown international retailer," reports quoted Pradeep Jain, chairman, Parsvnath, as saying. He added an announcement is likely within the next few weeks.

Parsvnath Developers, the country''s fourth largest listed real estate firm, owns 14 million square feet of retail space across 50 cities in the country.

Jose Luis Duran, CEO of Carrefour, had earlier said in newspaper interviews that the firm had identified two or three potential partners in India and that he hoped to sign a joint venture in coming months.
Carrefour is also launching a wholly owned cash-and-carry wholesale business. Both businesses are expected to be operational in the second half of 2009, he said.

Parsvnath is also in talks with the Casino Group, with net sales of around Euro 22 billion last year, has around 10,000 stores across 11 countries. Its global operations include 362 hypermarkets, 2,067 supermarkets, 6,295 neighbourhood convenience stores, 717 discount stores and 507 restaurants.

Foreign multiple-brand retailers are only permitted franchise and licence operations in India.

Parsvnath is also on the verge of signing a real estate deal with Bharti Retail for stores at around 100 locations. "Bharti Retail will be present in virtually all our malls and townships. The deal will be signed any day now," said Jain, adding that Bharti Retail would be either leasing these shops or buying them.