Dutch retail giant Ahold has announced that it has received a notice from Canica, one of its partners in Scandinavian joint venture ICA, that Canica has exercised its put option with respect to its 20% interest in ICA. This means that Ahold is now required to buy the shares offered by Canica.
The price for the shares is to be determined by mutual agreement between Ahold and Canica. However, Ahold has said it does not agree with Canica’s price indication of SEK10.1bn (US$1.36bn).
Ahold said that if it cannot reach an agreement with Canica on the price within 21 days, the price for the shares will be equal to 20% of the revised equity value of ICA, according to a fair market value of its shares, plus a premium. Ahold said the size of the premium is at this time the subject of a pending arbitration proceeding between Ahold, Canica and the third joint venture partner ICA Förbundet.