Ahold and Delhaize merger: European supermarket giants combine to create one of the largest food retailers in the world

Combined stores will generate around €54 billion in annual sales and serve 50 million customers a week

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The Independent Online

Two massive European grocery chains, Royal Ahold and Delhaize Group, have reached a deal to merge, creating the sixth largest food retailer in the US and the biggest in parts of Europe.

Delhaize, which is from Belgium, and Ahold, which is based in Holland, both generate around 60 per cent of their income in the US. Ahold operates Stop&Shop and Giant Stores in the US, while Delhaize owns Food Lion and Hannaford.

Once the merger is complete in 2016, Ahold Delhaize will own 6500 stores and employ 375,000 people. It is expected to generate around €54 billion in annual sales and serve 50 million customers a week.

Ahold shareholders will own 61 per cent of the combined company with the remaining 39 per cent belonging to Delhaize.

The two companies are said to have combined to battle sales pressure from discounters. In the US, Costco and dollar stores have eaten supermarket profits in the same way that Lidl and Aldi have put pressure on the big four supermarkets in the UK.

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