Spanish retailer El Corte Ingles has denied bidding for the Spanish operations of Dutch retail giant Ahold.

“El Corte Ingles hasn’t made any offer on the Dutch group Ahold,” a company spokeswoman was quoted by Dow Jones International News as saying.

Earlier this week a report in a Spanish newspaper said that El Corte Ingles had made an offer of €480m (US$579.8m) for the assets, which include more than 600 stores.

Ahold, which has made several major divestments in the last year as it seeks to cut debt in the wake of an accounting scandal, has said it hopes to sell its Spanish operations by the end of the year.