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Royal Ahold To Buy Stake in ICA

December 9, 1999

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Royal Ahold NV said Thursday it will take a 50 percent stake in ICA Group of Sweden, Scandinavia’s largest food retailer, in a deal that will make the Dutch company Europe’s biggest food seller in sales terms.

Ahold, which owns U.S.-based Stop and Shop and the Giant Food supermarket chain, said it would pay $1.83 billion for the stake. It said it would announce details in March of how it plans to finance the deal.

It said the move will add 3,100 stores to Ahold’s worldwide network and boost annual sales by $6.8 billion, pushing its overall sales in Europe to about $19.4 billion. Worldwide, sales will increase to $41.8 billion, the company said.

ICA is a privately held company formed earlier this year in a merger between Sweden’s ICA Handlarnas and Norway’s Hakon Gruppen AS. ICA also owns 50 percent of Statoil Retail, which generates $2.6 billion in sales through Statoil gasoline stations in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

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