Russian conglomerate Mercury Group has bought a controlling stake in local discount retailer Dixy for an undisclosed sum.

The US$8bn conglomerate has bought a 50.96% stake in Dixy after snapping up the majority shareholders in the company.

Some 48% of Dixy remains listed on the stock market after the company, which runs over 370 stores in Russia, went public in May.

Dixy chairman Oleg Leonov said: "I am confident that the experience and resources of the new shareholder will allow the company to reach even greater heights in its further progress."

Mercury's flagship business is Trade Company Megapolis, a distributor of FMCG goods throughout Russia. The conglomerate also has interests in construction, oil and military equipment.

"Investments in the Russian retail sector are of strategic interest to the Mercury Group," said first vice president Sergey Katsiev.

"We intend to use our capabilities to create a leading player in the Russian food retail market using the publicly-listed Dixy as a basis."