UK supermarket group William Morrison has reportedly revealed it may sell off 140 of Safeway's smaller stores for around £250m (US$440.7m) if its takeover bid is successful.

The UK's Big Food Group and Somerfield, along with Germany's Netto and Aldi, are thought to have shown an interest in the convenience stores, reported the Observer.

"The convenience stores are small for us, at below 15,000 sq ft. We will not hold on to them if it distracts us from the main prize - the larger outlets where we can most effectively improve performance and boost sales. I have been surprised by the level of interest shown by potential buyers," Bob Stott, managing director of Morrisons, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.