Japanese supermarket chain Kasumi has said it is in talks to sell a stake in the company to Japanese retailer Aeon.

“We are discussing a deal (to sell a stake), but details have not been decided,” a Kasumi spokesman told Reuters.

According to a local media report Aeon plans to buy a 15% stake in Kasumi for ¥7bn (US$59.5m), making it Kasumi’s biggest shareholder.

The possible move has been seen as part of Aeon’s efforts to strengthen its position in the Japanese market in order to fend off competition from foreign retailers.

Kasumi, which operates 110 outlets in the greater Tokyo area, posted group net profit of ¥1.72bn on revenues of ¥243.7bn for the year that ended in February.

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