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Delhaize Group and Royal Ahold complete merger

By Amanda Raymond
amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Food Lion’s parent company is part of a much larger retailer now that Delhaize Group and Royal Ahold have completed their merger.

It remains unclear what effect that might have on local jobs.

The merger took effect over the weekend after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission gave the consent order necessary to allow Royal Ahold and Delhaize Group to combine into Ahold Delhaize.

According to Supermarket News, the consent order was issued Friday. It was the only thing the two companies needed to complete their $29 billion merger. Analysts say the merger will create the fifth-largest grocery chain in the US market and the fourth-largest in Europe.

Royal Ahold, a Dutch company, and Delhaize Group, Food Lion’s parent company, agreed to sell 86 stores on July 14 to stay in line with anti-trust laws. No North Carolina stores were affected. The 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, according to a release issued earlier in July.

The combined company began trading shares on Monday in Europe and the United States. In the U.S., the stock will be traded over the counter, meaning it won’t be on a specific index.

Also on Monday, the company unveiled a new logo that combines Ahold’s crown with Delhaize’s lion. The company also has a new website: www.aholddelhaize.com.

The companies announced plans of their merger in June of 2015.

Ahold Delhaize will operate 2,000 U.S. stores under the Stop & Shop, Giant, bfresh, Martin’s, Hannaford and Food Lion banners.

The public is allowed 30 days to comment on the agreement, according to Supermarket News. After Aug. 22, the FTC will decide whether to finalize the consent order.

Delhaize America, the division that includes Food Lion, has had its headquarters in Salisbury — where Food Lion was founded — while Ahold USA has operated corporate offices in Carlisle, Pa., and Quincy, Mass. Neither company has said what effect the merger would have on the local operations.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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