UK supermarket company William Morrison has not ruled out a joint bid for UK supermarket chain Safeway, but said that it was unlikely to make an offer for Somerfield if its bid for Safeway failed.

“We are anxious to take any opportunities to discuss any options,” chairman Kenneth Morrison said at the group’s annual shareholder meeting when an investor asked if the company would consider a joint bid.

“But we would prefer to await the results of the Competition Commission (inquiry),” Morrison was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“It’s very doubtful we would be interested in Somerfield,” Morrison told Reuters. Somerfield recently rejected a takeover bid from retail entrepreneurs John Lovering and Bob Mackenzie.

Sir Peter Davis, the chief executive of UK supermarket firm J Sainsbury, also made it clear he would consider a joint bid for Safeway.

Davis said he believed there would be “no single winner” of the Safeway bid battle. “We would be very happy to talk to other parties when we know what might be possible,” he was quoted by the Guardian as saying.