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Ahold Pulling Out of South America

ZAANDAM, The Netherlands - Ahold today said it intends to divest its operations in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Paraguay, in order to concentrate on its mature and most stable markets and generate funds to pay down debt. As previously announced, the company is in current negotiations to divest its holdings in Chile.

No timing has been set for any specific divestment as Ahold is determined to negotiate transactions that maximize value, the company said. In addition, Ahold intends to withdraw from the South American market in a responsible way with respect to its customers, associates, and suppliers.

"We will continue to fully support our operations during this divestment process by ensuring that all our obligations to suppliers continue to be met," Theo de Raad, Ahold corporate executive board member responsible for Latin America and Asia, said in a statement. We will also seek to ensure that any new owners will continue to meet the obligations to our current associates as well as the expectations of our customers. Although we intend to proceed expeditiously with our divestment plan, we are determined to maximize the value we receive for these operations and obtain the best possible results for all our stakeholders," he said.

In Brazil, Ahold intends to sell its three wholly owned operations: Bompreco, G. Barbosa, and Hipecard, which includes 119 Brompeco and 32 G. Barbosa supermarkets and hypermarkets.

In Argentina, Ahold is selling Disco, S.A., which operates 236 stores.

While the company's 32 supermarkets and hypermarkets in Peru are exhibiting double-digit growth, Ahold is divesting those stores because it is pulling out of the other countries. Ahold intends to sell its 10 stores in Paraguay as well.
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