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Yesterday, MNB reported that UK retail entrepreneur Philip Green, who had been considering a bid for Safeway Plc, the nation's fourth largest supermarket chain, has decided not to enter the field.

Green was disenchanted with limitations placed by the government on how he could potentially sell some of the Safeway chain, saying that Tesco, Sainsbury, and Wal-Mart's Asda Group could not acquire any Safeway stores in the near future.

Now, however, Green is saying that he reserves the right to change his mind, and could still bid for Safeway under the right circumstances - which would include a company other than William Morrison Supermarkets getting into the fray.

On the surface, at least, the Green withdrawal seems to give William Morrison Supermarkets, the nation's fifth-ranked food chain, a clear shot at acquiring Safeway. Not only was Morrison the company that initiated the feeding frenzy by originally bidding for the company, but it is the only supermarket cleared by government antitrust regulators to acquire Safeway.
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