Retail entrepreneur Philip Green has asked British competition regulators for the go-ahead for a cash bid for UK supermarket chain and takeover target Safeway, but said he was unlikely to make an offer in the near future.

Trackdean Investments, the Green family’s investment company, said it did not expect to release further information for several weeks.

Green, who owns UK retail groups BHS and Arcadia, had been expected to make an unconditional cash offer for Safeway while the other bidders were reviewed by the Office of Fair Trading, reported Reuters.