Brussels, Belgium, March 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Leading international food retailers Delhaize Group NV/SA ("Delhaize") and Koninklijke Ahold N.V. ("Ahold") today announced that they have received regulatory clearance from the Belgian Competition Authority ("the BCA") with regard to the proposed merger of the two companies, subject to certain conditions. The BCA approved the merger on the condition that Delhaize and Ahold divest a limited number of stores to address competition concerns raised by the BCA.
These divestments will include 13 existing stores in total and consist of 8 Albert Heijn stores, 5 Delhaize franchised stores (3 existing Proxy and 2 existing AD Delhaize stores). A limited number of future Ahold and Delhaize projects will also need to be divested. The divestment package does not comprise any integrated stores of Delhaize.
No stores will be closed as a result of these remedies. The current labour and working conditions of the associates will be respected according to Belgian labour regulations.
The stores involved will have to be transferred to a buyer with the financial means and proven expertise to maintain them as viable and active competitors for Ahold Delhaize and other companies.
Until all requirements imposed by the BCA are met, the Albert Heijn and Delhaize stores in Belgium will continue to operate separately.
A full list of existing stores concerned by the BCA's decision is attached to this press release.
The merger clearance from the BCA completes the competition approval in Europe.
Earlier this week, shareholders of both companies approved the merger. The transaction is expected to be completed in mid-2016.
On June 24, 2015, Delhaize and Ahold announced their intention to merge, creating an international retailer with a portfolio of strong, trusted local brands and more than 375 000 associates serving over 50 million customers each week in the United States and Europe.
Together, Ahold and Delhaize will develop a post-completion strategy for the future of all markets.
» Delhaize Group
Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in seven countries on three continents. At the end of 2015, Delhaize Group's sales network consisted of 3 512 stores. In 2015, Delhaize Group posted €24.4 billion ($27.1 billion) in revenues. In 2015, Delhaize Group posted €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).
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Press release in PDF http://hugin.info/133961/R/1994590/734577.pdf