Russian financial giant Sberbank has emerged as a potential buyer for the big-box business of troubled retailer O’Key. The chain confirmed the interest as part of a strategy involving “evaluating various directions for development and strategic options for the company's hypermarket business”. According to sources, any sale would not include O’Key’s DA! discount chain, which has become a central focus in recent years, with 172 outlets forecast by 2024 from the current 97.
O’Key currently operates ca. 78 bigger stores and, were Sberbank to take these off its hands, the expectation is that it would seek to sell to another retailer either as a bloc or in chunks. This would further shake up the Russian retail scene, which is currently in flux with mergers and consolidation very much on the agenda.