Spencer’s woos foreign chains for investment
Power generation company CESC is in talks with overseas players for possible equity participation in its retail venture, Spencer’s.
“There is some kind of a dialogue, but till the FDI (foreign direct investment) rules are amended, it actually doesn’t have any bearing,” CESC vicechairman Sanjiv Goenka said.
The talks assume significance in the wake of a committee of secretaries giving an in-principle approval to allow up to 51% foreign FDI in multi-brand retail.
Currently, FDI is only allowed in single brand stores and cash-and-carry wholesale businesses. Though the approval of the secretaries’ panel doesn’t per se open the doors to global retail majors, it does give hope to retailers seeking equity participation.
The recommendations will now go to the commerce ministry and then to the Cabinet for final approval.
“We are not going for PE funding in retail but with FDI likely to be allowed, it is a better option,” Goenka, the head of RP-Sanjiv Goenka group, said on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of CESC.
Spencer’s Retail has big plans for expansion, though.
“We’ve got lots of properties tied up. In the next 30 months, we would definitely be at 2.5 million sq ft,” said Goenka.
The retail arm, which has more than 220 stores totalling over 1 million sq ft floor area, is investing about 250 crore in Spencers’ Galleria, an upcoming luxury mall in central Kolkata, said Goenka.