BRUSSELS, Belgium, July 14, 2016 – Delhaize Group and Ahold today announced that their United States subsidiaries have reached agreements with buyers to divest a total of 86 stores in a limited number of locations in which the companies’ U.S. subsidiaries both operate. These divestments are being made in connection with the United States Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) pending review of the proposed merger between the two companies. The divested stores are being sold to well-established supermarket operators.
All of the purchase agreements are subject to FTC approval. The agreements are also subject to FTC clearance and formal completion of the Delhaize Group and Ahold merger, which the companies continue to expect before the end of July.
These store locations represent 4.1% of the Ahold and Delhaize Group companies’ total combined U.S. store count and 3.2% of combined U.S. 2015 net sales.
"Selling stores is a difficult part of any merger process, given the impact on our associates, customers and communities in which we operate," said Frans Muller, President and Chief Executive Officer, Delhaize Group. "We believe we have made every effort to identify strong buyers for these locations, and we want to thank our loyal associates and customers who have shopped our stores and supported us for so many years. Upon the completion of the merger, we will continue to maintain our local Food Lion and Hannaford brands; however, our new company scale will enable us to accelerate our local market strategies to better serve our customers with nearly 2,000 stores along the East Coast in the United States."
The buyers of the 86 stores being divested are:
The divested stores are expected to be converted by the buyers to their new banners and re-opened as supermarkets after any remodeling planned by the buyers.
A full list of the locations being sold by both companies as part of this process is attached as an annex to this press release.
On June 24, 2015, Delhaize Group and Ahold announced their intention to merge. The shareholders’ meetings of both companies approved the merger in March 2016. The Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) granted its conditional approval for the merger in March 2016. FTC clearance is the remaining regulatory approval requirement for the Ahold and Delhaize Group merger.
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Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in seven countries on three continents. On March 31, 2016, Delhaize Group’s sales network consisted of 3,524 stores. In 2015, Delhaize Group posted €24.4 billion ($27.1 billion) in revenues and €366 million ($407 million) in net profit (Group share). At the end of 2015, Delhaize Group employed approximately 154,000 people. Delhaize Group’s stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).