U.S. Walmart eyes Russian food discounter

09:03, August 24, 2010      

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U.S. hypermarket chain Walmart has started negotiations aiming to acquire the third largest Russian food discounter Kopeika, the RIA Novosti news agency reported on Monday.

The negotiations were initiated by the Russian company, which considered three options of getting out from under: IPO, selling business to either Walmart or another Russian retailer X5. The final decision will be made in October.

Kopeika's price hovers at about 50 billion rubles (1.6 billion U.S. dollars), according to the company's own calculations. In 2009, Kopeika's net debt rose to 10.1 billion rubles (329 million dollars).

Walmart currently has no presence in Russia. X5 has been Kopeika's direct competitor.

In 2009, Kopeika's profit rose by 17 percent year on year to nearly 1.8 billion dollars. The company operates 600 no-frills shops in 193 towns of 25 Russian regions as of June 2010. Average purchase size in Kopeika shops amounts to 8-10 dollars.

Source: Xinhua


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