Dutch retail giant Ahold has announced that it has received a decision from the Swedish arbitration tribunal regarding the premium which is part of the price of the put option exercised by Canica of its 20% interest in Scandinavian joint venture ICA AB.

"The arbitration tribunal has rejected the challenges made by Canica to the premium rate. The tribunal has established the premium rate to be 49.56% which corresponds to the outcome of the valuation made earlier by the valuation expert engaged by the partners in ICA AB," Ahold said.

On 12 July 2004, Ahold received a put notice from Canica for its 20% stake in the joint venture. According to the Shareholders' Agreement among Ahold, Canica and the third joint venture partner, ICA Förbundet Invest AB, Ahold was required to buy the shares offered by Canica. However, the price of the deal was disputed by the two companies.

Ahold has entered into an agreement with ICA Förbundet to purchase from Ahold half of the shares of ICA AB that Ahold will acquire under the Canica put option.

As soon as the total price for the shares offered by Canica has been established, Ahold said it will issue a further press release.