Jerónimo Martins Retail (JMR), the biggest food retailer in Portugal with brand names including Pingo Doce and Feira Nova, is currently in talks with Ahold to buy its 49% share in JMR.

Jerónimo Martins Group has also recently increased the stake it holds in its partnership with Unilever from 26% to 60%. The JV includes various activities, including Fima (margarine, olive and vegetable oils, Lipton and Knorr), Lever Elida and Industrias Lever (personal hygiene, detergents and home cleaning products) and Iglo/Olá (ice cream and frozen foods).

JMR has also expanded into the Polish market with its wholly owned Biedronka subsidy, which operates a cash & carry network.

According to financial sources, Ahold wishes to exit the Portuguese market to support the restructuring of its business activities, increase focus on its core activities and reduce operational costs by EUR500m (US$641.93m).