X5 Retail Group has applied to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service to acquire Moscow-based retailer Kopeika and its subsidiaries, the authority has said.

X5 Retail Group chief executive Lev Khasis said the application was “a technicality”, necessary for future merger negotiations. Kopeika, which is owned by Uralsib bank head Nikolai Tsvetkov, operates nearly 600 supermarkets in Moscow and central Russia.