Activist Shareholders Said Unhappy with Ahold's Plans

AMSTERDAM - Royal Ahold's recently revealed strategic plans have reportedly not won the retailer any fans among hedge funds Centaurus Capital and Paulson & Co., which hold a combined 6.4 percent stake in the retail conglomerate company and have been urging it to shed its U.S. businesses and concentrate on core markets in Europe.

According to local news reports, the activist shareholder group said they find Ahold's stated strategy inadequate, implausible, and short on details.

An unnamed source close to Centaurus and Paulson said the hedge funds have been in secret contact with such major Ahold shareholders as Aegon and ING, to gain allies in its bid to push amendments to the plans, according to Amsterdam's De Telegraaf newspaper.

The paper said that Centaurus and Paulson are convinced that it would be best for Ahold to divest all of its U.S. holdings, instead of just U.S. Foodservice. Ahold revealed its strategic plans last month, following an exhaustive review.
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