Executive chairman Sir Ken Morrison has until 11.00am on December 29 to launch his new bid. The paper said that he is "not believed to be in a hurry". Once a bid is made there are 28 days in which to post the offer document. This will then start the 60-day takeover clock ticking.
The Independent reported that Sir Ken does not intend to make a hostile bid, so he needs the support of Safeway chairman David Webster and the rest of the board.
Safeway believes that Morrisons could afford to pay more since it will raise an estimated £600m from the sale of the 53 stores it must dispose of as part of the deal.
However, Morrisons argues that Safeway is worth less because Safeway’s performance has deteriorated since January.
The Competition Commission requires that Morrisons sells 53 stores as opposed to the original 40. This means that Sir Ken is therefore getting a smaller business than he expected.