British supermarket giant Tesco announces joint venture with Tata to enter India retail market

British supermarket giant Tesco has announced a joint venture in India with a company owned by Tata Group to invest in a chain of grocery stores.

It marks the first multinational entry into India's vast but underserved retail and supermarket sector since the country allowed such investment in 2012.

Tesco said Friday it would invest 85 million pounds ($140 million) to take a 50 percent share of Tata-owned Trent Hypermarket Ltd, which operates the Star Bazaar chain. It said the chain would operation 12 stores in southern and western India selling food and groceries, home and personal products, plus fashion and accessories.

Other major international multi-brand retailers, most prominently Wal-Mart, have stayed out of India because of strict local-sourcing rules they say make doing business too difficult.