Supermarket group Ahold Delhaize on Monday said it wanted to spin-off its Dutch online retail business Bol.com and to list its shares in the second half of next year.
Ahold, which operates in the United States and Europe, said it would retain control over the Netherlands' dominant internet shop in the years to come, as it would only list a limited number of shares.
The move would provide funding for the group, while fuelling the growth potential of Bol.com, the owner of the Stop & Shop, Giant, Food Lion and Hannaford chains said.
Ahold also announced a new share buyback worth €1 billion ($1.15 billion) starting next year and said it expected its overall sales to continue to grow in 2022.
Sales growth in the 2023-2025 period will accelerate, the company said, as it aims to add €10 billion in revenue by 2025.
Bol.com's revenue and core earnings (EBITDA) are expected to double by that year, relative to the €5.5 billion ($6.3 billion) and around €170 million respectively expected for this year, Ahold said.
The Dutch retailer has announced its commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its operations by no later than 2040 (scope 1 and 2) and across its entire supply chain, product development and services network (scope 3) by 2050.
It reported a 0.2% decline in like-for-like sales in its European operations (excluding gas) in the third quarter of its financial year, however sales compared to the corresponding period two years ago were up 7.5%. The group's European segment posted net sales of €7.04 billion for the period, which is a reported sales gain of 1.1%.