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William Morrison Supermarkets’ $3.9 billion (US) offer for Safeway Plc in the UK is now officially on the table, which means that Safeway has 14 days to respond and Morrison has 60 days to wrap up a deal.


Though Morrison's bid is the only one officially to be submitted to this point, it is expected that there will be counter offers from Tesco, Sainsbury, Wal-Mart, retailing mogul Philip Green, buyout specialist Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), and possibly a bunch of other companies we haven’t yet heard from. Once counter-offers come in, and regulatory officials start examining the competitive issues involved with the various bidders, the process could run a lot longer than 60 days.
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