Marubeni Corporation, the majority stakeholder in struggling retailer Daiei, has entered into talks Aeon Corporation regarding the rehabilitation of the underperforming supermarket chain. It looks likely that Aeon and Marubeni will enter into a partnership to rejuvenate Daiei, despite interest from the US's Wal-Mart, which also hoped to strike a deal with Marubeni.

The exclusive talks on business and capital tie-ups between Marubeni and Aeon are expected to conclude in March, the companies told reporters in Tokyo today (13 October).

It is believed that trading house Marubeni is considering selling a 15% stake in Daiei to Aeon. Marubeni currently holds 44.6% of Daiei's outstanding stock. Daiei may also sell Aeon about 20% of its existing holdings in Maruetsu, it has been reported in the Japanese press.

The companies will also develop a joint business model, which will look at issues such as the collective procurement of products.