Supermarket chain Wm Morrison has today (Monday) announced the sale by Safeway Stores (Ireland) Limited of twelve stores and the benefit of four development agreements in Northern Ireland to Wal-Mart's Asda Stores Limited. 

The aggregate price payable by Asda is £73.6m (US$134m) in cash plus the value of fuel stocks at the properties on completion, Morrisons said. 

The transaction is conditional upon Office of Fair Trading approval and the obtaining of certain third party consents.  Completion is expected to take place over a ten week period commencing in September 2005.

The 12 stores which are subject to the sale are in Ballyclare, Bangor, Belfast - Shore Road, Belfast - Westwood, Coleraine, Cookstown, Dundonald, Enniskillen, Kilkeel, Newtownards, Omagh and Strabane

 The disposals are in line with Morrisons strategy of concentrating on its mainland UK network, Morrisons said.