Dutch retailer Ahold is to be the subject of a new investigation into past management practices, following an order from a commercial court in Amsterdam.

The period under investigation will be 1 January, 1998 to 18 December, 2003. The request for the inquiry was submitted in February 2004 by the Vereniging van Effectenbezitters (VEB) and a number of other shareholders.

The company has said it would prefer to reach a settlement with the shareholders than to undergo another investigation.