Wal-Mart’s Asda and Sainsbury have considered a joint bid for Safeway after Yorkshire-based supermarket chain Morrisons made a surprise £2.9bn bid for the struggling supermarket group, according to The Times.
The joint approach is understood to involve Asda taking 75% of Safeway's 479 stores, with Sainsbury taking the rest.
The Guardian said that there is a feeling inside Safeway that there would be a counterbid. While one analyst told the Daily Telegraph that the possibility of a bidding war as “remote” another said that this was Wal-Mart's best chance to step up, otherwise they have got to do it organically."