Ahold and Delhaize Group officials announced they have received approval from the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) for their intended merger.
The BCA’s approval is conditional upon the divestment of a limited number of stores in Belgium to address competition concerns raised by the regulator. These divestments include 13 store locations, and consist of eight Albert Heijn stores and five Delhaize franchised store locations. A limited number of future Ahold and Delhaize projects will also need to be divested. The divestment package does not include any integrated stores of Delhaize.
Representatives said there are no plans to close existing stores as a result of the merger. Until all requirements imposed by the BCA are met, Albert Heijn and Delhaize stores in Belgium will continue to operate separately.
During June of 2015, Ahold and Delhaize representatives announced the companies’ plans to merge, with the combined company creating an international retailer with more than 6,500 stores and more than 375,000 associates serving more than 50 million customers every week in Europe and the United States.
The transaction is expected to be completed in mid-2016.