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Safeway Plc, the UK supermarket retailer that has seemed forever on the verge of being sold, reportedly has received bids for 39 of its stores that exceed the equivalent of $923 million (US). In addition, the company says it has gotten inquiries about 13 other units likely to be sold.

The company has been told by UK regulators that if it is to be sold to William Morrison Supermarkets, it must divest 52 units in order to keep the competitive playing field reasonably even. Morrison, in fact, is the only UK chain that has been cleared by the government to make a bid for Safeway; Tesco, Wal-Mart, and Sainsbury all were denied the right to bid, though one or more of them could pick up one of the 52 divested stores.

Morrison, which made an initial $4.9 billion (US) bid for Safeway 10 months ago that instigated this whole feeding frenzy, is expected to make a new, higher offer for Safeway before the end of the year.
KC's View:
This thing has been going on for almost a year, and we can't wait to get the thing concluded.

Both Morrison and Safeway need to bring this to some sort of conclusion. While Morrison has been showing growth, Safeway Plc reported that its most recent pre-tax, pre-exceptional profits were down 8.6 percent on sales that rose 1.2 percent.

It's time to get back to business without the distractions of acquisition frenzy.