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18 March 2004

 
Ahold exits Asia with sale of Thai operation

Ahold has sold its stake in CRC Ahold, operating in Thailand, to its partner, the Central Group. The divestment, which is effective immediately, is the final step in the overall sale of Ahold's Asian operations. The transaction sum was not disclosed.

Currently, CRC Ahold operates 47 stores and has a wholesale business delivering to some 300 convenience stores in Thailand with unaudited aggregate 2003 sales of approximately EUR 312 million. The company employs about 6,000 people in Thailand.

The Central Group is one of Thailand's largest private corporations with diverse business interests across six main sectors: retail, hotels, property, wholesale, manufacturing and food franchises.

"Ahold has finalised its withdrawal from Asia with the divestment of its Thai operation," said Theo de Raad, Ahold Corporate Executive Board member responsible for Latin America and Asia, announcing the deal on March 3. "We have every confidence that all our stakeholders, including customers, associates and suppliers, will continue to flourish under new ownership."

The divestment of Ahold's activities in Asia is part of Ahold's strategy to optimise its portfolio and to strengthen its financial position by reducing debt. In 2003, Ahold already completed the sale of its Indonesian and Malaysian operations, said the Dutch retailer in a press statement.

 

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