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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Grocers Seen in Possible Merger

Discount grocery store Pyaterochka said on Friday it had offered to buy smaller rival Kopeika in what would be Russia's biggest retail takeover.

A spokeswoman for Pyaterochka said that total turnover of a new merged entity could reach $3 billion by 2006, while local media estimated a deal might be worth around $500 million.

"We have made a proposal on a buyout of either 100 percent of shares or a portion of shares," company spokeswoman Yuliya Kolesnikova said, but added that the offer was tentative.

"We do not have any concrete merger plans yet," she said.

Kopeika confirmed it had received the offer but said its five-year plan, adopted in 2003, did not provide for a sale. Kopeika is owned by investment house UralSib and Kopeika managers in equal proportion.

Pyaterochka, in which the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development holds a minor stake, expects turnover of more than $2 billion in 2005, rising to $15 billion by 2012. It plans to increase the number of outlets to 2,000 from the current number of around 600.