St. Petersburg’s largest supermarket chain, Pyatyorochka, has sold a blocking package of shares to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for an undisclosed amount.

Analysts anticipate the price of the share package to be around US$40m, but Pyatyorochka’s press secretary, Sergei Moskvin, said that further details of the deal would not be released until next year.

According to an official press release from the company, which was founded in 1999, the money generated from the sale will fund further store openings. It aims to open 130 new stores in St Petersburg and 55 in Moscow, an area into which the company has been aggressively expanding in recent months. By the end of December, Pyatyorochka will be operating 65 stores in St. Petersburg and 15 in Moscow.

The supermarket said: “Pyatyorochka attracted the EBRD investment because of the size of and opportunities provided by the Russian retail market, the rapid pace of recent development in the supermarket sector and the transparency of Pyatyorochka as a company.”