Rumours are rife within the Mexican retail industry, stirred by speculation that French retail giant Carrefour is hoping to buy out its major competitor Comercial Mexicana (Comerci). Dario Celis Estrada, business columnist at Reforma, reported this week that the Mexican owned Comerci was flatly denying a takeover, yet its suppliers remain largely convinced that Carrefour, headed in Mexico by Bernard Dunand, is close to finalising a deal. The world's second largest retailer since its merger with Promodès last year, Carrefour operates 18 outlets in Mexico, and would greatly increase its market hold with a takeover of the 209 stores controlled by Comerci.