X5 Retail Group has admitted it is looking at acquiring businesses in Russia – but the company refused to be drawn on rumours linking the company to peer Ramstore.

X5, Russia’s largest retailer, has again been linked to rival group Ramstore, which has some 64 stores in the country.

Investment bank Antanta-Capital has sparked speculation that X5, alongside French retail giant Carrefour, could be interested in buying Ramstore, which is partly-owned by Turkish conglomerate KOC Holding.

However, a spokesman for X5 refused to be drawn on the rumours, although he said the retailer is eyeing potential targets.

“They are just assumptions; we do not comment on such things,” the spokesman said about the Ramstore rumours. “However, we consider M&A to be an important part of our growth strategy to supplement organic growth.”

The X5 spokesman said the retailer would look at a business that had a “high profitability”. He added: “We’re not interested in smaller chains – five or ten stores is a waste of time for us.”

The spokesman said that X5 – formed last year after the merger of the Pyaterochka and Perekrestok chains – “did not exclude” making an acquisition before the end of the year.

Officials at Carrefour in Paris could not be reached for immediate comment.