Rumours that Asda is preparing to launch a bid for Safeway continued to circulate this week. But experts insist that the Wal-Mart subsidiary could not do any deal without first finding a suitable partner to help it break up Safeway in order to get round competition rules. One likely option is that Wal-Mart would broker a deal that would give it Safeway's larger stores in those areas where it does not have a strong presence ­ while rival retailers would buy the rest. {{NEWS }}