MUMBAI, Aug 13 (Reuters) - French retailer Auchan has signed a franchise agreement with India's Max Hypermarket to enter the country with its retail operations, the companies said on Monday.
Max, which is run by Dubai-based Landmark Group, operates 13 hypermarkets in India. These stores will be rebranded "Auchan" in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year ending March 2013.
Max and Auchan plan to open 12-15 new stores annually across India, they said in a joint statement.
Current foreign ownership regulations in India do not allow global hypermarket and supermarket chains such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Carrefour SA to set up shop in the country.
In December, the government backtracked on its decision to allow such chains to own 51 percent in India's multi-brand retail sector after a huge political backlash.
Max Hypermarket had a partnership with Dutch food retailer SPAR international BV which ended earlier this year.
Max Hypermarket India Ltd is controlled by retail and hospitality major Landmark Group. Landmark operates hypermarkets under the Max brand only in India and so it is not restricted under foreign ownership regulations.