The Russian retail group Marta has acquired the regional supermarket chain Pi which operates 69 stores in the city of Vladimir and the surrounding region.

Financial details of the deal, which saw Marta acquire 100% of the shares of Pi, were not disclosed but analysts have suggested the asking price was between US$70m and $80m. Pi posted gross revenues of $34.5m in 2005 and controls around 25% of the Vladmir retail market.

Marta is reportedly planning to convert the 69 stores to its Grossmart format which would boost the Grossmart chain to almost 100 stores.

In addition to its Grossmart operation, Marta owns 25% of Billa Russia, which operates 30 outlets and in which the German retail group Rewe owns the other 75%.

Marta, which recorded total gross revenues of US$442.7m in 2005, is looking to expand its retail operations. The company has said it intends to increase its retail turnover to $390m in 2006. It had retail net sales of $171.2m in 2005.