Ahold announces revised strategy

Ahold is to sell its US wholesale operation US Foodservice, the company announced today. US Foodservice, bought in 2001 for €8bn, was at the centre of the book-keeping fraud which cost Ahold’s former CEO and CFO their jobs.

A number of shareholders have been pressuring Ahold to sell off the unit. Ahold is also to sell retail operations in Poland and Slovakia, and return €2bn to shareholders.
– Divest US Foodservice.
– Appoint both a European and US Chief Operating Officer.
– Reduce operating costs by €500m by end of 2009.
– Cut Group Support Office costs by 50% by end of 2008.
– Divest Tops and retail operations in Poland and Slovakia .
– Sell holding in Jerónimo Martins Retail.
– Implement brand improvement and value repositioning.
– Reaffirm targets as retail net sales growth of 5% and retail operating margin of 5%.
– Return approximately €2bn to shareholders and reduce debt by approximately €2bn, following divestments.

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