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Del Monte Pacific picks up 40% in Bharti’s Field Fresh

Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Enterprises on Friday announced inclusion of a third partner, the over $300 million, UK-based Del Monte Pacific Ltd, in its joint venture Field Fresh Foods Pvt Ltd. Field fresh, an agro-based company was a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and UK's EL Rothschild Ltd, with both holding 50% each. However, now Bharti will hold 50% share, Del Monte 40% stake and EL Rothschild’s stake will get diluted to 10%. The development is essentially seen as a back-end support to the Bharti Retail initiative, which has entered into a technical alliance with the world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart. Field Fresh will also be serving the wholesale or the business-to-business models, which means it will also serve stores like the Metro Cash and Carry and the Bharti-Wal-Mart stores, which are going to come up by December 2008. Field Fresh was essentially an export agro-based company and has been exporting fresh fruits and vegetables to various markets including UK, the Middle East and Europe. But now with the retail scene becoming increasingly attractive, Field Fresh will now be venturing into food processing as well. [...]