UK supermarket group Wm Morrison has announced that it has agreed to sell four Safeway stores to rival Asda.

This is the latest tranche of store divestments announced by Morrisons since it completed the takeover of Safeway in March this year and is a continuation of the disposals required by the undertakings given by Morrisons to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in December 2003. 

Three of the stores being disposed of - Shrewsbury, Coventry (Abbey Park) and Burton on Trent - are among those which Morrisons is required by the OFT to sell. Morrisons has also agreed to sell the Safeway store at Northampton (Kingsthorpe) as part of this transaction although this store was not on the OFT divestment list.

"Our integration of the Safeway business is progressing and today's announcement is a further step in the overall process. The contract with Asda is subject to the approval of the Office of Fair Trading, and discussions with them have commenced," said Bob Stott, joint managing director of Morrisons.