Grocers were on tenterhooks as Retail Week went to press in expectation of an imminent announcement on who can bid for Safeway.
Among analysts, Morrisons remained the favourite to get the go-ahead from the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Philip Green, the only potential bidder not referred to the Competition Commission, insisted on Monday that he is still in the running.
Tesco and Sainsbury's are expected to be blocked. Asda is thought to have only a slim chance of going through.
- Morrisons last week announced a 10.2 per cent jump in interim pre-tax profits to£126.2 million with turnover up 14.8 per cent to£2.48 billion. Like-for-like sales increased by 9 per cent.