Merging Ahold, Delhaize Could Sell 83 Stores: Report

As their proposed merger moves closer to completion, international retail conglomerates Ahold and Delhaize may have to sell off as many as 83 stores that could present an overlap issue for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), according to a published report citing an FTC list that has not yet been made public.

The list featured in the report contained stores operated under the Food Lion, Giant Food, Hannaford, Martin’s, and Stop & Shop banners in Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia and West Virginia, and included both unionized and non-unionized locations.

“From the Belgian authorities, we expect we'll have a minor number of stores from both will have to be sold,” Ahold CEO Dick Boer told Reuters at the time of the company’s March 14 shareholders meeting, where the proposed merger was overwhelmingly approved, as was the case with Delhaize’s meeting, held the same day. "On the U.S. side, we’re still waiting in a way for their views." Boer added that he didn't believe that concessions would significantly change the shape of the merger.

When contacted by PG, Salisbury, N.C.-based Delhaize America, which operates the Food Lion and Hannford banners in the United States, responded, in part: "The merger is currently under review by relevant regulatory and competition authorities. Delhaize does not comment on pending regulatory matters or on market speculation. The merger remains on track for completion in mid-2016."

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