Ahold and Delhaize Group have received approval for their intended merger from the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA).
However, the BCA’s approval is conditional upon the divestment of a limited number of stores in Belgium to address concerns about competitions.
These divestments are to include 13 existing stores, consisting of eight Albert Heijn outlets and five Delhaize-franchised stores. A small number of future Ahold and Delhaize projects will also need to be divested.
The companies say that no stores are expected to be closed as a result of this, and that the current labour and working conditions of the associates working in them will be respected.
The stores involved will have to be transferred to a buyer with the financial means and expertise to maintain them as viable and active competitors to both Ahold Delhaize and other companies.
Until all of the BCA’s requirements are met, Albert Heijn and Delhaize stores in Belgium will continue to operate separately.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Jenny Whelan. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.