Bidders Said Lining Up for Ahold's U.S. Foodservice

AMSTERDAM -- Private equity and trade buyers are preparing bids for Ahold's U.S. Foodservice division, according to a report in British financial newspaper, The Business.

Ahold, currently reported to be considering a merger with Belgium-based Delhaize, is about to put U.S. Foodservice on the block and could decide as soon as this month whether to begin the disposal process to sell or float the scandal-plagued division.
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Delhaize, which is half Ahold's size, is interested in forming a merger of equals and the sale of U.S. Foodservice is the key to such a merger.

According to The Business, the pool of potential bidders includes South African food services group Bidvest, which bought Ahold's European wholesale business; Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the buyer of Ahold's Stop & Shop banner in the late 1980s; and Cerberus Capital Management, one of the members of the consortium that bought Albertsons earlier this year.

Ahold has not commented on the report.

In other Ahold news, the company said yesterday that Johan Boeijenga was named president and c.e.o. of Ahold Central Europe. Boeijenga, whose previous position was e.v.p. supply chain and who serves as a member of the executive board at Albert Heijn, succeeds Jacquot Boelen, who left the company to pursue other opportunities. Boelen will remain available for a period of time, however, to permit a smooth transition.

Boeijenga came to Ahold in 1988 as a management trainee. Over the next 18 years, he served in logistics and supply chain positions at Albert Heijn and also was c.e.o. of the company's former operations in Indonesia. Boeijenga took on the role of e.v.p. supply chain in 2003, guiding Albert Heijn in building its state-of-the-art logistics capability and serving on the team that drove the successful repositioning of the company.
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