Philip Green will enter talks with the OFT on Monday about his proposed bid for Safeway, the Sunday Times reported.
The paper added that Irish grocer Superquinn’s share of the grocery market has declined over the past six months.Taylor Nelson Sofres figures reveal that the chain’s share fell from 9.2% last June to 8% in December.

The Business reported that Morrisons is to post its offer document to shareholders this week and has no plans at the moment to raise its bid. A source said that Sir Ken Morrison is willing to talk about possible joint ventures or deals, suggesting he may be willing to play the part of “kingmaker”.

Sainsbury chief Sir Peter Davis wants to link up with Sir Ken Morrison to scupper plans by rivals Asda and Tesco in the battle for Safeway, the Observer said.

Philip Green is to make a cash bid of more than £3 a share for Safeway within 10 days and has already identified three candidates to be chief executive of the supermarket group, according to the Sunday Telegraph. The paper said data from Taylor Nelson Sofres revealed that Safeway lost nearly £100m worth of sales to rivals in the Christmas and New Year trading period. This contrasts sharply with the upbeat trading statement it made alongside the Morrisons offer earlier this month.

The Mail on Sunday said that three cash bids for Safeway could be tabled this week, from Philip Green, Wal-Mart and US equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

And the Sunday Express believed that an all cash offer for Safeway from Philip Green in excess of £3.5bn could force Morrisons to raise its offer.
Meanwhile, the paper said the out-of-town shopping boom is running out of steam, according to a report from Verdict to be published this week. Like-for-like sales in town centre shops grew at 3.4% last year, compared to only 1.2% out-of-town.