Mumbai: India’s Future Group, which runs the country’s largest listed retailer Pantaloon Retail, is pursuing talks for a foreign tie-up and hopes to file papers for an IPO in its investment arm soon, the group’s CEO said.
Kishore Biyani said the group was in talks with many overseas retailers but did not identify them, although there have been media reports of French retailer Carrefour was one of the contenders.
“There is a lot of speculation about a lot of players and one of the names that comes up is Carrefour ... but that doesn’t mean that we are tying up with them,” he said in an interview on Monday.
He said Future Ventures, an investment arm of the group, would file initial papers in the next 30-45 days for an initial public offer. The unit has invested in three companies in India, including the Indian franchisee of Dollar Stores International.
“We are going to look at rural retail opportunity out of that company,” Biyani said, adding Future Ventures would also drive the group’s expansion in the food and fashion business.
He did not say how much the unit plans to raise. Last year, he had said the group aimed to raise more than Rs10 billion ($216 million) through the sale of shares.
The group had intended to float Future Ventures in 2008, but the process was delayed in the wake of the financial crisis, an economic slowdown and a stock market collapse.
Pantaloon contributes nearly 90% of the group revenues and competes in the domestic market with Vishal Retail, Shoppers Stop and Tata group’s Trent.
In 2008/09, it reported net profit of Rs1.4 billion on revenues of Rs63.4 billion.
The Indian retail market is estimated at about $450 billion with organised retail having a share of 6%.