Beijing’s largest grocer, Wumart Stores, has improved its offer to buy rival MerryMart Chainstores (Mei Lian Mei) by around 10% to CNY279.5m (US$35.1m) in a bid to speed up the transaction, which was initially agreed in February.

Once the deal, which is scheduled to close later this month, is completed Wumart will control 75% of MerryMart. The latter company is the fourth-largest retailer in the Beijing area, where it operates 23 supermarkets.

Wumart has 12 hypermarkets which sell clothes, electronics and groceries, as well as 47 supermarkets and a large number of mini-marts. It also holds a 60% stake in Beijing-based supermarket operator Chao Shifa.