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Delhaize, Ahold agree to sell 86 stores

Greensboro Food Lion

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BRUSSELS — Delhaize Group and Ahold NV said on Thursday that their United States subsidiaries have reached agreements with buyers to divest a total of 86 stores in a limited number of locations in which the companies’ U.S. subsidiaries both operate. These divestments are being made in connection with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) pending review of the proposed merger between the two companies and are being sold to well-established supermarket operators.

All of the purchase agreements are subject to FTC approval. The agreements are also subject to FTC clearance and formal completion of the Delhaize Group and Ahold merger, which the companies continue to expect before the end of this month.

These store locations represent 4.1% of the Ahold and Delhaize Group companies’ total combined U.S. store count and 3.2% of combined U.S. 2015 net sales.

“Selling stores is a difficult part of any merger process, given the impact on our associates, customers and communities in which we operate,” said Frans Muller, president and chief executive officer of Delhaize Group. “We believe we have made every effort to identify strong buyers for these locations, and we want to thank our loyal associates and customers who have shopped our stores and supported us for so many years. Upon the completion of the merger, we will continue to maintain our local Food Lion and Hannaford brands; however, our new company scale will enable us to accelerate our local market strategies to better serve our customers with nearly 2,000 stores along the East Coast in the United States.”

The buyers of the 86 stores being divested are: New Albertson’s Inc. (part of Albertsons Cos., based in Idaho), purchasing one Giant Food store in Salisbury, Md.; Big Y Foods Inc. (based in Massachusetts), purchasing eight Hannaford stores in eastern Massachusetts; Publix Super Markets Inc. (based in Florida), purchasing 10 Martin’s stores in Richmond, Va.; Saubel’s Markets (based in Pennsylvania), purchasing one Food Lion store in York, Pa.; Supervalu Inc. (based in Minnesota), purchasing 22 Food Lion stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia; Tops Markets (based in New York), purchasing one Stop & Shop store in Massachusetts as well as three Stop & Shop stores and two Hannaford stores in New York; and Weis Markets Inc. (based in Pennsylvania), purchasing 38 Food Lion stores in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

The divested stores are expected to be converted by the buyers to their new banners and reopened as supermarkets after any remodeling planned by the buyers.