The second-largest French banking group Natixis has acquired more than 75% of shares in Russian retail group Seventh Continent, once again swirling rumours about a potential sale to Carrefour.

According to analysts, Germany's Deutsche Bank, which until then controlled the debt obligations of Seventh Continent's main shareholder Alexander Zanadvorov, sold the US$560m debt to the French bank.
 
This information was confirmed by sources close to shareholders of Seventh Continent. However, they did not specify the amount of the deal or the size of the discount.
 
Natixis and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.  . 

Analysts believe that the consolidation of the debt may increase the bank's position in negotiations with Zanadvorov. It is even possible that the bank will negotiate "in favour of the strategic investor", such as French retailer Carrefour, which has already attempted to buy Seventh Continent. 

This May, Carrefour signed a preliminary agreement with Zanadvorov about the possibility of buying the chain and its assets, but no final proposal was reached.