Russian grocery retailer Lenta is reported to be holding discussions with bankers over a potential listing in London.

Lenta, which is part-owned by US private equity firm TPG and Russia’s VTB Capital, is understood to have held talks yesterday (28 May) about a potential listing of global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange, The Financial Times reported.

Such a deal by the owners of the St Petersburg grocer would raise around GBP1bn (US$1.5bn), the publication noted.

A spokesperson for Lenta owner TPG would not comment on the discussions or potential plans when contacted by just-food.

Sources are divided on when the listing might happen given that talks are in the “early stages”. One source told the FT it might happen in the fourth quarter of 2013, another suggested the first quarter of 2014.

The retailer plans to use the funds raised by the listing to take advantage of increased spending by Russia’s middle class, a person familiar with its plans told the FT.

A listing by Lenta would be the first by a Russian retailer in London since O’Key’s US$419.5m share offer in 2010.

TPG, VTB and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development bought a 44% stake in Lenta for $1.14bn from shareholder August Meyer in 2011. It is understood TPG owns the majority share although the exact shareholding has not been disclosed.

VTB Capital did not return a request for comment at the time of going to press.