Dutch retailer Ahold has announced that it has reached an agreement on the sale of its stake in CRC.Ahold, operating in Thailand, to its joint venture partner, the Central Group for an undisclosed sum.

Ahold said the divestment, which is effective immediately, is the final step in the overall sale of the company’s Asian operations.

CRC.Ahold operates 47 stores and has a wholesale business that delivers to around 300 convenience stores in Thailand.

“Ahold has finalised its withdrawal from Asia with the divestment of its Thai operation,” said Theo de Raad, Ahold’s corporate executive board member responsible for Latin America and Asia.

The divestment of Ahold’s activities in Asia is part of the company’s strategy to optimise its portfolio and to strengthen its financial position by reducing debt. In 2003, Ahold completed the sale of its Indonesian and Malaysian operations.