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Former U.K. Safeway C.E.O. to Helm Ahold-Owned Spanish Grocer

LONDON - Dutch conglomerate Royal Ahold NV has tapped Carlos Criado-Perez, onetime Safeway Plc chief executive, as chairman of a Spanish grocery store chain, according to published sources.

After Ahold's sale of the Spanish stores to private equity firm Permira for 685 million euros (U.S. $874 million) is completed, Criado-Perez is set to become executive chairman for as long as 18 months.

In March, following William Morrison Supermarkets' purchase of Safeway, Criado-Perez left the company, reportedly receiving a 1.4 million-pound ($2.6 million) payment and up to 4 million pounds from an incentive plan.

Ahold's goal is to unload assets worth 2.5 billion euros by next year in an effort to reduce debt and lower interest costs. The company said last week that quarterly sales declined 7.9 percent to 12 billion euros, due to competition, the disposal of businesses, and decreases in the dollar that weakened the value of U.S. revenue.
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