X5 Retail Group, Russia’s largest retailer by sales, today (13 August) confirmed that it is interested in buying Moscow-based chain Ostrov.

A spokesperson for X5 said the company has submitted an application to buy Ostrov with FAS, Russia’s competition watchdog.

However, the spokesperson said the filing was just an indication of X5’s interest, rather than a sign that a deal was finalised.

“We have filed a statement with FAS but it does not mean we are committed to buying Ostrov,” the spokesperson told just-food.

Last month, X5 made a submission to FAS to buy discount chain Kopeika. The spokesperson said there had been “no major advance” in that particular prospective deal.

X5, which generated sales of RUB275.18bn (US$9.01bn) in 2009, is looking to expand through acquisition as Russia’s retail sector develops, the spokesperson explained.

“In general, X5 has a growth policy because the Russian market is growing, so the possible acquisition of Ostrov is no surprise,” the spokesperson added.