X5 Retail Group, Russia’s largest retailer by sales, has repeated its interest in buying local rival Kopeika amid reports that Wal-Mart Stores is again circling the business.

Russian business dairy Vedomosti today (15 October) reported that Wal-Mart, which has been linked to Kopeika since 2002, had resumed talks with the chain’s owners.

X5, however, has been pursuing Kopeika, a discount chain with almost 600 outlets.

Last month, X5 got the backing of Russia’s competition watchdog should it succeed in buying the retailer, although the regulator’s approval was dependent on X5 offloading some stores.

Speaking to just-food, a spokesperson for X5 confirmed the company was still interested, although she refused to be drawn on suggestions in the Vedomosti piece that the retailer’s enthusiasm for a deal had waned. “Well, I’m not going to comment on the level of our interest,” the X5 spokesperson said.