Dutch supermarket retailer Laurus has said that it is negotiating with several potential buyers to sell its loss-making Belgian operations.

Laurus, which is the Netherlands’ second-biggest food retailer in terms of sales after Royal Ahold, said it was in talks with Belgian discount retail chain Colruyt over the sale of 26 stores, but refused to disclose financial details.

Colruyt chief executive Rene De Wit told Reuters that the deal could increase Colruyt’s turnover by around €470m (US$500.5m) annually.

Laurus sold off its Spanish operations in the latter part of 2002 and, if the sale of its Belgian operations goes ahead, the company would only retain its retail operations in the Netherlands.

French retailer Casino controls a 38.7% stake in Laurus and has an option to take full control with a 51% stake until the end of 2008.