Ahold sells Scandinavian supermarket stake

Ahold is selling its 60% stake in Swedish supermarket group ICA to Hakon Invest for the equivalent of €2.45bn. The deal gives Hakon complete control of the group.

ICA was key to the book-keeping scandal which hit Ahold in 2003. The company’s then-finance chief Michiel Meurs consolidated 100% of the supermarket chain’s sales in Ahold’s own books, even though the Dutch company did not own all the shares.

ICA has 2,200 supermarkets and franchise operations in Sweden, Norway and the Baltic states.

In a statement, Ahold said the transaction will have no direct impact on the joint activities of ICA and Ahold in areas such as sourcing and responsible retailing. ‘These initiatives, which go back more than 30 years, are mutually beneficial and support business goals,’ Ahold said.