Ahold Still to Sell U.S. Foodservice Despite Setback: Report

AMSTERDAM -- Dutch retail conglomerate Royal Ahold said yesterday that it would still sell its Columbia, Md.-based U.S. Foodservice holding, although the American company had to cancel the sale of bonds that would have helped fund the transaction, according to published reports.

U.S. Foodservice nixed a scheduled issuance of toggle bonds, which permit the issuer to pay interest in cash or debt, and delayed yesterday's planned sale of $650 million in senior notes, citing weak market conditions.

Ahold said in May that it would sell the financially troubled food distributor to private equity firms Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund VII, L.P. and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co L.P. The $7.1 billion transaction was originally slated to wrap up in the second half of the year.

"We don't expect any consequences for the transaction," said Ahold spokeswoman Caro Bamforth told the Baltimore Sun, although she declined to comment on how the company would now finance the deal.
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