Supermarket chain Morrisons is on the verge of agreeing a £40m deal to sell stores to Wal-Mart, according to newspaper reports.
The retailer is required by the Competition Commission to sell 52 outlets in return for official clearance for its takeover of Safeway earlier this year.
Some of the 52 Safeway stores have already been sold to Waitrose and Sainsbury, and Morrison recently announced it is planning to shut some of the stores that it was required to sell.
The retailer still owns 24 of the 52 stores it must dispose of, and rather than sell them all it has applied to the commission to 'retire' up to 12 of them.