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Wegmans Denies Reports of Tesco Deal

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wegmans Food Markets here has denied overseas reports that No. 1 U.K. food retailer Tesco is interested in expanding its U.S. presence by possibly buying the Northeast regional grocer.

According British newspaper The Independent, Tesco has its eye on midsized American grocery chains and is researching Wegmans along with a few other companies. The story hinted that Tesco might go for a minority stake in an established U.S. chain, as with Safeway's online grocery business, in which the British retailer owns a share.

In response to the rumors, Wegmans spokeswoman Ann McCarthy told The Buffalo News in New York, that "Our response continues to be, as it always has been, that the entire Wegmans family is strongly committed to remaining privately held and family owned."

McCarthy declined to comment on whether Tesco had spoken to Wegmans about such a deal.

Tesco has declined to name specific chains it may be considering, although it notes that it continues to explore opportunities in the United States and other nations.

Other reports from the United Kingdom named Safeway and Meijer as additional companies Tesco was investigating.
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