Ahold, Delhaize announce merger plans

Ahold Albert Heijn Headquarters Zaandam (Niels Kim/wikimedia commons). (Ahold Albert Heijn Headquarters Zaandam (Niels Kim/wikimedia commons))

Retailers Ahold and Delhaize announced that they have entered into a on Wednesday. The combined company will be named Ahold Delhaize.

Ahold Delhaize will have more than 6,500 stores with 375 thousand associates and will be able to serve over 50 million customers per week in Europe and the United States. The company will also have a strong financial profile, from which they will fund innovation and investments in future growth. The companies expect to be able to save 500 million euros on costs annually.

Delhaize chairman Mats Jansson will be the Chairman of the combined company. Ahold chairman Jan Homman and Delhaize group director will be the Vice Chairmen. Ahold CEO Dick Boer will be the CEO of Ahold Delhaize.

The transaction is expected to be completed in mid-2016 after going through regulatory clearances, associated consultation procedures and shareholder approval. The managements of both Ahold and Delhaize unanimously support and recommend the transaction.

"The proposed merger with Delhaize is an exciting opportunity to create an even stronger and more innovative retail leader for our customers, associates and shareholders worldwide", Dick Boer said about the merger. "With extraordinary reach, divers products and formats, and great people, we are bringing together two world class organizations to deliver even more for the communities we serve."

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