A spokesperson for the hedge funds Centaurus Capital and Paulson & Co has told just-food that the investment groups are happy with the direction taken in Royal Ahold’s strategic review, denying rumours of dissatisfaction with a purported “lack of detail”.
According to a report in Dutch newspaper De Financiele Telegraaf, which cited someone close to the situation, Centaurus and Paulson believed that the strategic review lacked detail and claimed that the management of Ahold does “not have investors’ trust”.
“We don’t recognise those views,” a spokesperson for Centaurus told just-food today (24 November). “The strategic review is a good step in the right direction. We are broadly happy with the direction management is taking, although it does require some fine-tuning.”
Earlier this month, Ahold said it would sell its US Foodservice and some US retail businesses, cut costs and return EUR2bn (US$2.62bn) to shareholders as part of an overhaul aimed to boost profitability.
Prior to the completion of the review, Paulson and Centaurus, who collectively hold a 6.4% stake in Ahold, mounted a public campaign designed to pressure the retailer into selling off all its US businesses.
The hedge funds met with management earlier this week, it was confirmed. However, the spokesperson declined to comment on what was discussed at the meeting.