The UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland has denied speculation that it is to launch a £3bn (US$4.67bn) bid for UK supermarket retailer Safeway.

Two Sunday papers had reported that Britain’s second-largest bank was working with former CEO of rival Asda, Allen Leighton, on a bid to acquire Safeway.

The reports also said that Safeway would then be broken up and its stores sold off to other supermarket chains such as Sainsbury, Morrison’s and Wal-Mart subsidiary Asda.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has refused to comment on the speculation but sources told Reuters that the bank is unlikely to be involved in such a bid.