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Delhaize Group and Ahold to sell off 86 stores

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Delhaize Group and Ahold have announced that their United States subsidiaries reached agreements with buyers to sell off 86 stores.

No stores in North Carolina will be affected.

Delhaize Group, Food Lion’s parent company, and Royal Ahold, a Dutch company, announced plans to merge in June of 2015.

According to a press release, the sales are part of the United States Federal Trade Commission’s pending review of their proposed merger.

The stores being sold are in a limited number of locations where the companies’ U.S. subsidiaries both operate.

The affected stores are being sold to “well-established supermarket operators,” according to the release.

Purchase agreements must be approved by the FTC and are also subject to the FTC’s clearance and approval of the Delhaize Group and Ahold merger.

The release said the merger is expected to be completed before the end of July.

The store locations being sold off are 4.1 percent of Ahold’s and Delhaize’s total combined U.S. store count. They represent 3.2 percent of combined U.S. 2015 net sales.

“Selling stores is a difficult part of any merger process, given the impact on our associates, customers and communities in which we operate,” Frans Muller, president and chief executive officer, Delhaize Group, said in the release.

“We believe we have made every effort to identify strong buyers for these locations, and we want to thank our loyal associates and customers who have shopped our stores and supported us for so many years. Upon the completion of the merger, we will continue to maintain our local Food Lion and Hannaford brands; however, our new company scale will enable us to accelerate our local market strategies to better serve our customers with nearly 2,000 stores along the East Coast in the United States.”

Christy Phillips-Brown, director of external communications and community relations for Food Lion, said the company does not expect the sale of any more Food Lion stores.

“While we are still awaiting final approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), we have worked closely with the FTC in reaching this announcement and we do not anticipate the sale of any additional Food Lion stores as a result of this process,” she wrote in an email.

The buyers of the stores are expected to reopen them under new banners and after any remodeling the buyers plan.

Some of the buyers include New Albertson’s Inc. based in Idaho, Big Y based in Massachusetts and Publix based in Florida.

For more information, visit www.delhaizegroup.com, www.ahold.com or www.adcombined.com.

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