The owners of Russian retailer O’Key do not plan to sell the business, the company has insisted, after an interview in which its chief executive said it could be a potential takeover target of Wal-Mart.

In an interview with Bloomberg, O’Key CEO Patrick Longuet said the retailer could be a “potentially attractive acquisition target for Wal-Mart”.

However, Longuet reportedly added O’Key’s majority shareholders did not plan to sell up – a fact a spokesperson for the retailer highlighted when contacted by just-food.

The spokesperson indicated Longuet’s comments were taken out of context in the Bloomberg report.

“It was just mentioned. Bloomberg asked about foreign retailers to Russia, and Patrick said: ‘Now if a foreign player wants to enter the Russian market, it would be difficult to do it from scratch, it will need to buy local chains. O’Key is a transparent company, has the effective business model and operating in the hypermarket format, maybe, we are a potentially attractive acquisition target for Wal-Mart. Still, as I know, O’Key major shareholders don’t plan to sell the business as it still has high growth potential’,” the spokesperson insisted.

O’Key, in which Russian billionaires Dmitry Korzhev and Dmitry Troitsky own about 54%, has set a target of doubling its revenue by 2016. In 2012, it generated sales of RUB117.3bn, up 26% on 2011.

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The spokesperson said O’Key was most interested in opening more hypermarkets. There was, he insisted, a “significant under-supply of hypermarkets in Russia”.