Delhaize Group and Royal Ahold N.V. (Ahold) today announced that they have entered into an agreement to merge. The combined company will be named Ahold Delhaize and this will have a portfolio of trusted local brands. Ahold Delhaize will have more than 375,000 associates serving more than 50 million customers weekly in the United States and Europe.
Because of the amazing advantages from each of the two companies, the combined company will have enhanced scale across regions and will have leading market retail offerings. Ahold Delhaize will also benefit from the strong heritage and values of both companies.
Jan Hommen, Chairman of Ahold, and Mats Jansson, Chairman of Delhaize, 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.”
Frans Muller, CEO of Delhaize, said: “We believe that the proposed merger of Ahold and Delhaize will create significant value for all our stakeholders. Supported by our talented and committed associates, Ahold Delhaize aims to increase relevance in its local communities by improving the value proposition for its customers through assortment innovation and merchandising, a better shopping experience both in stores and online, investments in value, and new store growth. We look forward to working closely with the Ahold team to implement a smooth integration process and realize the targeted synergies.”
Dick Boer, CEO of Ahold, said: “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. With extraordinary reach, diverse products and formats, and great people, we are bringing together two world-class organizations to deliver even more for the communities we serve. Our companies share common values, proud histories rooted in family entrepreneurship, and businesses that complement each other well. We look forward to working together to reach new levels of service and success.”
The merger will take place through a cross-border legal merger of Delhaize into Ahold. Included in the transaction, Delhaize shareholders will receive 4.75 Ahold ordinary shares for each Delhaize ordinary share. Ahold will terminate its ongoing share buyback program; €1 billion will be returned to Ahold shareholders via a capital return and a reverse stock split prior to completion of the transaction
Ahold Delhaize will be listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange and the Brussels Stock Exchange. Delhaize’s ADS program will be terminated at completion and Delhaize ADS holders will have the choice to receive either Ahold ADRs under the current Ahold OTC ADRs program or Ahold Delhaize ordinary shares. Pending shareholder approvals and regulatory clearance, as well as other customary conditions, the deal is expected to complete mid-2016
Delhaize Group is a food retailer headquartered in Anderlecht, Brussels, Belgium which operates in seven countries and on three continents. The principal activity of Delhaize Group is the operation of supermarkets. In June 24, 2015, Delhaize Group reached an agreement with Royal Ahold to merge. Forming a Parent Company of Ahold Delhaize. Delhaize stock market evolution: http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/deg
About Mats Jansson
Mr. Jansson has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Delhaize since May 24, 2012. He also previously served as a director of Axfood, Mekonomen, Swedish Match, Hufvudstaden and Danske Bank. Mr. Jansson studied economical history and sociology at the University of Örebro.
About Frans Muller
Mr. Muller is President and CEO of Delhaize Group since November 8, 2013. In 1988, he joined KLM Cargo where he served in various management and executive positions in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Vienna, Singapore. Muller holds a Master of Business Economics from the Erasmus University, Rotterdam (The Netherlands).
Koninklijke Ahold N.V. is a Dutch international retailer based in Zaandam, The Netherlands. Ahold is an AEX-listed company on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. The company started in 1887, with the founding of an Albert Heijn grocery store in Oostzaan, The Netherlands. The grocery chain expanded through the first half of the 20th century, and went public in 1948. In June 24, 2015, Delhaize Group reached an agreement with Royal Ahold to merge. Forming a Parent Company of Ahold Delhaize. Ahold stock market evolution: http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/AH:NA0
About Jan Hommen
Jan Hommen is the Chairman of the Selection and Appointment Committee of Ahold. He was appointed to the Supervisory Board at the General Meeting of Shareholders on April 2013. He is the former CEO of ING Group N.V., former CFO and vice chairman of the board of management of Royal Philips Electronics N.V. and former CFO of Aluminum Company of America.
About Dick Boer
Mr. Dick Boer has been the Chief Executive Officer of Koninklijke Ahold N.V since March 1, 2011 and serves as its President. Mr. Boer serves as the Chairman of Management Board and President of Koninklijke Ahold N.V. He studied Executive MBA at program IBO (Zeist).