Troubled Japanese retailer Daiei has said it is not in talks with French retail giant Carrefour about a possible business link-up.

The comment follows a report in Sunday’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper claiming the two retailers were in negotiations regarding a business tie-up that could involve joint purchases of products and joint operation of stores in Japan.

“We are not in tie-up talks with Carrefour,” a Daiei spokesman told Reuters. A Carrefour spokeswoman, meanwhile, declined to comment on the report.

Carrefour did not have an easy time when it entered the Japanese market three years ago. Analysts have said Carrefour, which now has four Japanese stores, lacked a local partner in Japan.