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M&S signs Indian joint venture deal

Marks & Spencer has signed a joint venture deal with Reliance Retail to open up to 50 stores in India over the next five years.

M&S will take a 51% stake in Marks & Spencer Reliance India PVT, with Reliance Retail taking the remaining 49%. M&S's existing partner Planet Retail will continue to run the chain's current 14 franchise stores.

The deal is part of the retailer's plans to grow its international business to contribute between 15% and 20% of sales within the next five years.

M&S chief executive Sir Stuart Rose said: "India is a very exciting opportunity for Marks & Spencer and a market where there is the potential for M&S to become a major retail brand. Reliance Retail is the ideal partner for us to accelerate our expansion and create the opportunity to open much bigger M&S stores. We have been very impressed by their strength in technology, logistics and property and the speed with which they have become a major player in India's retail scene."

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