A supermarket stake-out in India has become embroiled in a battle over ownership after a supermarket in Kerala allegedly refused to buy its stake in the stakeout.
According to the Times of India, the supermarket was granted a licence to operate in the city in February this year.
The Kerala government had earlier said that the Kerala State Bank would hold the bank’s stake.
But the Kerala government did not approve the bank to hold the stake in accordance with the agreement signed by the state’s cabinet ministers in March.
“The bank had agreed to hold 5% stake in an Indian supermarket chain in Kerala,” said the government spokesperson.
So, the bank had to sell its stake, the spokesperson added.
However, the state government has refused to accept the bank taking over the supermarket.
The bank is yet to receive the licence to sell the stake.
The Kerala State Consumer Affairs department has written to the state bank asking it to revoke the licence of the bank.
A bank spokesperson told The Indian Express, “The bank has not yet received the notification from the Kerala Finance Ministry that we have received the licence and the state department is working on a detailed communication to the bank.”
The spokesperson further added, “We are trying to reach out to the government of Kerala and they have also asked us to contact them for further information.
Earlier, the department had told the Times that the bank would hold a 20% stake.”
We will not be able to accept this 20% of stake without a bank license.
We are working on the issue,” the spokesperson said.
On Friday, the Kerala Consumer Affairs Department wrote to the Kerala Bank on the bank stating that the state has no control over the bank and the bank will not have a 20-percent stake in a supermarket chain.
It has also requested the bank not to proceed with the stake-off.
Meanwhile, the local branch of the Kerala branch of supermarket chain Vasudeva said that they have already sold all their stock and have not received any notification from Kerala government.
In a statement, the Vasudevas said, “While we are happy with the Kerala Government’s decision to take over the stake, it is a sad situation.
The bank is holding a 20 percent stake in our brand and this was agreed upon in writing.
We are disappointed that the local bank has now decided to withdraw the licence.
We have already given up our stake and have also given up all our stock.
We do not need any further approvals.
Our brand will be kept alive and we will take care of our store at all cost,” they added.