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Ahold, Delhaize announce intention to merge

Leading international food retailers to combine in "merger of equals."

Leading international food retailers Delhaize Group and Koninklijke Ahold N.V. announced June 24 that they have entered into an agreement to merge.

The combined company, which will be named Ahold Delhaize, will have a portfolio of strong, trusted local brands with more than 375,000 associates serving more than 50 million customers every week in the U.S. and Europe.

According to the announcement, the company will have enhanced scale across regions, market-leading retail offerings to serve customers' changing needs and a strong financial profile from which to fund innovation and investments in future growth. Ahold Delhaize will capitalize on the strong heritage and values of both companies, as well as complementary cultures, neighboring geographies and the impact of combining successful sustainability programs.

Ahold chairman Jan Hommen and Delhaize chairman Mats Jansson said, "This is a true merger of equals, combining two highly complementary businesses to create a world-leading food retailer. The transaction delivers a compelling value proposition for our shareholders, a superior offering for our customers and attractive opportunities for our associates."

The transaction is expected to be completed mid-2016, following regulatory clearances, associated consultation procedures and shareholder approval.

Both companies have a significant presence in the eastern U.S. with Ahold operating Giant and Stop & Shop stores and Delhaize operating Food Lion and Hannaford brands.

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