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The UK Sunday Telegraph reports that retailing entrepreneur Philip Green, the only one of five parties interested in acquiring Safeway Plc that is currently allowed to make a formal bid while the others are being probed by the Competition Commission, may delay making any offer.

The issue seems to be that Green wants to know if the chains part of the official inquiry -- Tesco, Sainsbury, Wal-Mart, and William Morrison -- will be allowed to make conditional offers in response to any formal bid that he makes.

If the UK's Takeover Panel allows such condition bids, the paper reports, Green might delay making an offer or abandon the quest to acquire Safeway Plc altogether.

The Financial Times reports that Safeway has asked Green to "clarify his intentions."
KC's View:
This used to be a fun story because of all the machinations involved. But it is quickly getting to the point where we wish they'd just sell the damned thing and be done with it.

We're still rooting for Morrison, and we keep being told that Wal-Mart remains the leading candidate…at least according to industry insiders.