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Ahold to Publish Restated 2002 Earnings

AMSTERDAM -- Ahold will publish its restated 2002 annual figures next week after it meets the Sept. 30 deadline of delivering its audited accounts to its syndicate of banks, Dow Jones reports.

The deadline is a must for Ahold, which otherwise faces losing access to the first credit line (U.S. $3.04 billion) arranged by a syndicate of banks after a widescale accounting scandal erupted at its Columbia, Md.-based US Foodservice subsidiary in February.

The company is also likely to unveil a large financing package aimed at helping the company recover from the accounting scandal, a banking source told Reuters. The funding sources, according to the banker, will include cash flow, asset sales, a convertible bond, and a rights issue.

Dutch newspapers have suggested the world's third-largest food retailer would launch a rights issue for 2 billion euros (U.S. $2.29 billion) while also issuing a convertible bond of the same size and raise another 2 billion euros via asset sales in the interim.

With a total of between 5 billion to 6 billion euros, the source says Ahold will have sufficient funds to reduce debt and shore up its battered equity to more manageable levels.

An Ahold spokesman declined to comment on any financing plans, instead focusing solely on the company's "main objective of presenting audited 2002 results to our banks on Sept. 30."
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