UK supermarket firm Asda, a subsidiary of US retail titan Wal-Mart, is reported to have made a secret proposal to The Competition Commission last week to divide up Safeway between itself and fellow bidder Wm Morrison.

The move, aimed at keeping Asda in the running for Safeway, led to the UK regulator’s decision yesterday [Tuesday] to delay its report to the Department of Trade and Industry by six days, reported The Daily Telegraph.

Asda reportedly proposed that it should be allowed to buy Safeway if it agreed to sell sufficient numbers of Safeway stores to Wm Morrison.

Wm Morrison, Tesco and J Sainsbury are believed to have rejected Asda’s proposals, when asked for comments by the regulator.

“On Friday there was a meeting between Asda and commission staff. It was one of many meetings where we continued to develop practical proposals on the issues of remedies. It was a development of earlier proposals and we are pleased that the commission has been given a few extra days to consider it,” an Asda spokesman was quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying.