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Carrefour, Pantaloon close to India deal

French retailer Carrefour is close to a deal with a unit of Pantaloon Retail, India's largest listed retailer, to set up franchisee stores in India, the Economic Times reported citing an anonymous source.

The French firm is expected to sign the deal for the joint venture by March, the paper said, quoting an unnamed official familiar with the development.

The venture is likely to be part of Future Value Retail, which currently holds the hypermarket chain Big Bazaar and supermarket chain Food Bazaar businesses, the paper said. Future Value Retail is a wholly-owned unit of Pantaloon.

Future Group chief executive Kishore Biyani declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Indian rules currently allow foreign direct investment only in the cash-and-carry wholesale business. Foreign investment is not permitted in multi-brand retail. (Reuters)