Marubeni Corporation, the majority shareholder in Japanese retail chain Daiei, has issued a statement denying reports that it has approached either Wal-Mart or AEON for help to revive the struggling retail chain. Meanwhile, Daiei has separately denied that it is in talks with third parties regarding a capital tie-up or the potential sale of Marubeni’s stake.

The statements were issued in response to a report in the Nihon Keizai business daily that Marubeni intends to sell some of its 44.6% stake in the supermarket operator to either Wal-Mart or Aeon. The Mainichi newspaper separately suggested that Aeon hoped to acquire 10% of Daiei from Marubeni.

Marubeni did say that it is willing to consider any strategic partnership and would consider proposals from other parties interested in investing in Daiei.

Japanese retailer Aeon issued a statement stating that it is not currently in talks with Marubeni on regarding possible investment in Daiei. A representative for US retail giant Wal-Mart told just-food that the company is always on the lookout for sound investments overseas but the company declined to comment further on market speculation.