Safeway suitors given two-week deadline to act

The bidders in the race for Safeway have a fortnight to submit written evidence to the Competition Commission to strengthen their cases.

The April 18 deadline also applies to evidence from any other interested parties, such as rival retailers, suppliers, industry groups and members of the public.

Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons' bids were referred to the Competition Commission two weeks ago by Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

Arcadia and Bhs boss Philip Green, who escaped referral, is understood to be waiting for Safeway's forthcoming trading update before making an offer.