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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Wal-Mart Eyes Karusel Hypermarkets

ST PETERSBURG -- Hypermarket chain Karusel is in indirect sale talks with U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart, two sources close to the Russian company said Tuesday.

"An investment bank hired by the owners of Karusel is holding negotiations with Wal-Mart," one of the sources said.

Karusel, co-owned by Andrei Rogachyov and Alexander Gidra, opened 13 hypermarkets last year and wants to boost that figure to 50.

Rogachyov and Gidra also own a 21.2 percent stake in retailer X5, created last year when their Pyaterochka discount store chain merged with Alfa Group's Perekryostok. X5 has an option to buy control of Karusel next year.

"The owners of Karusel have started negotiations with Wal-Mart, because Wal-Mart can offer more money and the format of Karusel is closer to Wal-Mart's," a source close to X5 said.

Rogachyov confirmed that Karusel had hired investment banks, but said Karusel was "not in direct talks with Wal-Mart."

(Reuters, MT)