05/05/2015 9:52 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Future, Bharti Agree To Combine Retail Operations

A woman shops at a mall in Mumbai, India. From Adidas to General Motors, companies that have plunged into India and China are finding that these markets are, by and large, still too small to make up for the slowdown in the U.S. and other rich countries. Moreover, India and China are not immune to the global crunch. Declining exports, particularly in China, and tight credit have cooled spending growth, despite the favorable long-term trends. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

MUMBAI — India's Future Retail Ltd said on Monday it had agreed to merge its retail operations with local rival Bharti Retail Ltd to create one of India's biggest retail chain with more than 570 stores across the country.

Under the deal structure, approved by the boards of the two companies, the retail business of Future Retail will be merged with Bharti Retail. The combined entity will own the retail operations of both the companies.

In the second step, infrastructure, investments and assets of both the companies will be combined to create a new entity to be called Future Enterprises Ltd, the companies said in separate statements.

The shareholders of Bharti Retail, a unit of India's Bharti Enterprises which is the parent of leading mobile operator Bharti Airtel Ltd, and Future Retail would own shares in the two new companies.

Future Retail operates around 350 stores in different parts of the country spread over 11 million square feet of retail space. Bharti Retail currently operates a network of over 200 "easyday" stores in multiple formats across 114 cities.

(Reporting by Aditi Shah and Devidutta Tripathy; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Anand Basu)

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