Ahold Selling Stake in Top Swedish Food Retailer
Ahold has reached an agreement with Hakon Invest of Sweden to sell the Amsterdam-based retail conglomerate’s 60 percent holding in Scandinavian retailer ICA for 21.2 billion krona (USD 3.3 billion) in cash, including ICA’s 2012 dividend of 1.2 billion krona (USD 187.9 million).
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, as well as approval by the ICA Retailers’ Association for financing, is expected to be completed in the middle of this year.
Ahold, which introduced a new growth strategy in 2011, plans to focus on businesses it controls to create value. In September 2012, the company began a review of strategic options for its stake in ICA.
This deal will have no direct effect on the joint activities of ICA and Ahold in such areas as sourcing and responsible retailing. These efforts, which date back more than three decades, “are mutually beneficial and support business goals,” according to Ahold, which in the United States operates the Giant-Landover, Giant-Carlisle/Martin's and Stop & Shop supermarket chains.
Solna-based ICA, the No. 1 food retailer in Sweden, also operates ICA and Rimi stores in Norway, and Rimi stores in the Baltics. The company has 2,215 retailer-owned and company-operated retail locations.