Bompreco's C.E.O. Steps Down

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- The chief executive at Brazil's Bompreco supermarket chain is stepping down after only six months, as the sale of the chain, by struggling Dutch parent company Ahold NV, draws near, according to a company press release.

Roberto Britto, who has headed up Bompreco since March, will depart Sept. 1, to be replaced by Ronald van Solt, currently v.p. of planning and strategy.

Later that same month, Ahold is expected to open offers for Bompreco from such major retailers as France's Carrefour SA, Brazil's Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao SA, and the United States's Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Ahold, rocked by an accounting scandal and looking for cash to pay down debts, announced in April it would divest its assets in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Peru. The Brazilian assets, which include Bompreco and also Ahold's G. Barbosa and Hipercard operations, are expected to be the biggest draw.

Bompreco, the largest retailer in northeastern Brazil with 87 supermarkets and 28 hypermarkets, had sales of 3.34 billion reals ($1=BRL2.99) in 2002.
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