UK retailer Asda said it is “working hard behind on the scenes” on plans for its Netto stores, as it awaits approval from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for the purchase.

Asda paid GBP778m (US$1.24bn) for the 193 outlets in May this year and earlier this month it said it is currently working with the OFT, which is reportedly requiring the retailer to sell some 30 of the Netto stores.

Reports today (27 August) suggest that Asda has submitted planning applications to convert several Netto stores ahead of approval.

However, a spokesperson for the retailer told just-food: “The purchase of Netto’s stores by Asda is still subject to approval by the OFT. We don’t want to second-guess the OFT’s conclusions, but we’re working hard behind the scenes to plan our next steps. However implementation of those plans depends on the OFT’s view of the agreement.”