The founder of Italian supermarket chain Esselunga, Bernardo Caprotti, stated in his last will and testament that he saw Dutch retailer Ahold (now part of Ahold Delhaize) as the ideal international partner for the group.
As reported by Reuters, Caprotti, who died last week at the age of 90, said in the will, "Should the very grim context in Italy improve, it would be necessary to find an international partner. Ahold would be ideal. Not so Mercadona."
According to Reuters, Caprotti also warned against any proposed takeover by Italian rival Coop.
Before his death, Caprotti had been in discussion with private equity firms about a potential takeover of Esselunga, moves that are now believed to be on hold.
Reuters said that an Ahold spokesperson declined to comment on the story.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.