"There has been no attempt to re-open the confidential guidance process," said a spokesman, who added that the constant speculation was disruptive. Asda said last week that it had not had any recent contact with Safeway and ruled out a hostile bid for the company.
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Safeway yesterday denied that it has re-started talks with the competition authorities over whether the Government would block a merger with Asda. The supermarket group said it had not had any contact with the regulatory authorities since September, when talks over the pounds 9bn merger broke down.