French food chain expands in Siberia

French-based retailer Auchan is aiming to expand its presence in Russia. The food giant is angling to buy the hypermarket chain Alpi in the city of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. The companies are holding talks on a buy-out, according to Kommersant business dail

Alpi has 28 superstores and is estimated to be worth between $US 450  and $US 500 million.  

Last year Auchan took over Moscow supermarket chain Ramstore. Buying 10 stores for $US 280.6 million.

Alpi is believed to be the biggest retailer in Siberia, making it a prime target for Auchan, which has yet to get a foothold in Krasnoyarsk.

Auchan already owns 25 hypermarkets in Moscow, St.Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Krasnodar and Ekaterinburg.

Kommersant reports that the Alpi group is heavily in debt to suppliers and banks,  and is looking for buyer for its hypermarket business.