Chilean supermarket operator Cencosud has said it and three investment partners have agreed a deal to buy the Argentine operation of Dutch retailer Ahold for US$315m.

Cencosud said that when the deal is completed it will own 62% of Disco, while its investment partners, Capital International, AIG Capital Partners and International Finance Corporation, will own the rest, reported Reuters.

Following the acquisition, Cencosud will operate Argentina’s second-largest supermarket chain with a 22% market share, with estimated 2004 sales of $3bn.

Cencosud said it expects the deal to be completed within six months, pending approval from Argentina’s competition authorities.