The owner of Russian retailer Seventh Continent has agreed to buy smaller grocery operator Mosmart for RUB15bn (US$500.2m), according to reports.

Reuters reported late last week that the move could emerge as the latest step in the ongoing consolidation of Russia’s fragmented retail sector.

Accorting to reports in the Russian press that have been republished on the Mosmart website, Alexander Zanadvorov has agreed to acquire 100% of the retailer from Sberbank Capital (50%), founders Shelukhina Andrew and Michael Bezelyanskogo (40%) and a board member of Sistema Evgeny Novitsky (10%).

Mosmart operates hypermarkets and is based in Moscow.

Neither Seventh Continent nor Mosmart could be reached for comment at the time of publication.

Last month, industry leader X5 Retail Group secured a significant acquisition when it bought rival Kopeika for $1.65bn.