SWEDEN: Ahold sells stake in ICA to Hakon Invest
Ahold revealed a new growth strategy for the group in 2011
Dutch retail giant Ahold has sold its stake in ICA, the Sweden-based retailer, to co-owner Hakon Invest.
The SEK20bn (US$1.96bn) cash deal, announced this morning (11 February), will see Hakon take Ahold's 60% stake in ICA. Hakon already owned 40% of the grocer.
Ahold revealed a new growth strategy for the group in 2011 and the group again reiterated its aims to focus the execution of this strategy on "businesses it controls in order to create value".
Ahold, which has stores in Sweden, Norway and the Baltic states, started a review of strategic options for its stake in ICA in September last year. A month later the group booked a decline in third-quarter operating profit as investments in pricing hit margins.
Hakon Invest, which will now change its name to ICA Gruppen, said it will finance the deal with existing cash and a secured bridge financing from Handelsbanken and Nordea.
"The board has carefully evaluated various possible alternatives for a change of ownership in ICA and has now settled on a deal that looks after our shareholders' interests in the best possible way," said Hakon Invest's chairman, Hannu Ryöppönen. "The deal strengthens the conditions for continued satisfactory and stable dividends to our shareholders."
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, as well as approval by the ICA Retailers' Association for the financing of the transaction. It is expected to be completed in the middle of this year.
Aldi, with its 455 outlets, was the leader in discounters in 2012. Starting to test its “New Generation” concept in 2011, it rolled it out in 2012, providing a facelift to its existing and new stores....
- Focus: Danone CEO Faber puts stamp on business
- Cleaning up Tesco will have mixed supplier impact
- The just-food interview: Doux CEO Arnaud Marion
- General Mills US "priority" categories gain share
- 2015 preview: A better deal for M&A sellers
- General Mills outlines "aggressive" NPD drive
- Coles supplier payments broke competition law
- Lay's heads "billionaire food brands" list
- PepsiCo opens snacks plant in Saudi Arabia
- Wessanen to buy dairy-free drinks firm Abafoods