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UK supermarket group Wm Morrison is drawing up plans to sell 132 smaller Safeway stores when it completes the £3bn (US$5.7bn) takeover of its rival.

The stores could be sold with the rights to the Safeway brand name and could attract a price tag as high as £300m, the Sunday Telegraph reported. It is thought that a number of convenience store groups and financial buyers have already expressed an interest in buying the portfolio of stores.

Morrisons had originally intended to keep the smaller stores, even though the group has little experience of running convenience stores.