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  • The Telegraph reports that contrary to a popular rumor, Sainsbury and Wm. Morrison -- two UK supermarket companies in competition to acquire Safeway Plc there -- are not preparing a joint bid for the company.

    Rather, Morrison plans to continue its solo effort to land Safeway, believing that it will be the only major retailer that will not be challenged by the UK’s Competition Commission.

    In addition to Sainsbury and Morrison, offers are expected to be tendered by Tesco, Wal-Mart, and several other retailing entrepreneurs and private equity firms.

  • The Financial Times reports that a new study suggests that there are more overlaps among the major food chains bidding for Safeway Plc and the object of their affection than originally thought -- overlaps that are likely to be of interest to competition authorities in the UK.

    The study, by Experian, indicates that Wm Morrison has 41 overlaps, Wal-Mart’s Asda Group has 100, Sainsbury has 208 and Tesco a whopping 233.

  • Retailing mogul Philip Green reportedly is on the verge of making a bid for Safeway that would be the equivalent of $5.2 billion (US) in cash. There would be no competitive issues involved in his bid because Green does not own any supermarkets. Yet.

KC's View:
The smart money right now -- and we’re not just talking about London bookies -- seems to be on Wal-Mart to acquire most of Safeway, one way or the other. At least, that’s what a number of people tell us.