UK: Wal-Mart’s Asda joins bidding race for Safeway
The UK subsidiary of US retail behemoth Wal-Mart, Asda, announced today that it was considering making a takeover bid for Safeway, the UK's fourth-largest supermarket operator, currently in the sights of two of its rivals. Although Asda has thus far been coy about the exact scope of its offer, the company stressed it would be an all-cash offer. Last week fifth-largest UK supermarket group Morrisons offered to buy Safeway for an all-share deal worth £2.9bn (US$4.65bn), although the value of this bid has inched down since Morrisons shares dipped. Meanwhile second-largest supermarket group Sainsbury's yesterday [Monday] said it was poised to make a cash & share offer for Safeway which would value the firm at about £3.2bn.
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