Proposes to invest $ 110 million and set up a 50-50 joint venture with its existing Indian partner Trent, a Tata group firm, to open retail stores in Bengaluru and Kolhapur.

British retailer Tesco applied on Tuesday to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for acquiring a 50 percent stake for $110 million in Tata Group’s Trent, the company that operates the Star Bazaar hypermarket chain in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka

This is the first application from a foreign company since the UPA Government opened up multi-brand retail in September 2012. A statement from the Trent said Tesco has sought approval to buy a 50 percent stake in the company.

Tesco was one of the retailers that had admitted to selling horsemeat-contaminated beef burgers in the UK earlier this year and had later withdrawn them.

The applicant is willing to comply with all the conditionalities of the extant FDI policy in multi-brand retail trading, said Industry Ministry officials. “The applicant has sought permission for selling in the stores products such as consumer durables and non-durables and basic food grocery products.” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said: “The key objective of the policy is to address the issue of post-harvest management and contain the losses of agricultural produce particularly perishable produce”.

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