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Royal Ahold N.V.
Type Public (Euronext: AH, FWB: AHO)
Founded 1973
Headquarters Amsterdam, Netherlands
Key people John Rishton (CEO), René Dahan (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Industry Retail
Services Supermarkets and hypermarkets
Revenue €25.72 billion (2008)[1]
Operating income €1.198 billion (2008)[1]
Profit €1.074 billion (2008)[1]
Employees 118,520 (FTE, 2008)[1]

Ahold (in full Koninklijke Ahold N.V. or Royal Ahold N.V.) (Euronext: AH, FWB: AHO) is a major international supermarket operator based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Ahold is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.


Company history

The company's origins can be traced back to 27 May 1887 with the founding of the Albert Heijn grocery store in Oostzaan, the Netherlands. The grocery chain expanded through the first half of the 20th century, and went public in 1948. It became the largest grocery chain in the Netherlands, expanded into liquor stores and cosmetic stores in the 1970s, and changed its name to "Ahold" in 1973 (which stands for "Albert Heijn Holdings").[citation needed] The company expanded internationally starting in the mid 1970s, eventually buying chains in Spain, the United States, and Portugal, and accelerating its acquisitions in the latter half of the 1990s in markets in Latin America, Central Europe and Asia.

This ambitious global expansion was halted by fraud at the chain's American subsidiary "U.S. Foodservice" and by a Board level accounting scandal. In February 2003, the CEO and CFO resigned following charges of financial irregularities. Earnings over 2001 and 2002 had to be restated and the company began selling off some of its grocery chains in Latin America and elsewhere.

A similar scandal, albeit on a much smaller scale, arose in the Tops Markets unit at about the same time. The total of all liabilities and public image damage thus incurred proved burdensome and very difficult to overcome. By 2003, Ahold had totally pulled out of Asia. It has also pulled out of Brazil, once a sizable market for Ahold, and it sold the Bi-Lo and Bruno's chains in the United States.

In July 2006, it announced that the Northeast Ohio division of Tops Markets would be put up for sale and that the stores in that region would close by the end of the year regardless of whether or not they had been sold. In early October of that same year, Ahold issued a statement in compliance with the WARN Act, or Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, indicating that the stores would, indeed, close on 8 December 2006, regardless of whether they had been sold. In early November, Ahold announced that the remainder of the Tops chain in the states of New York and Pennsylvania would be put up for sale.

Ahold announced details of a major strategic review on 6 November 2006. As of May 2007 Ahold has reached a definitive agreement for the sale of U.S. Foodservice to a consortium of CD&R and KKR for 7.1 billion USD[2]. It will also divest retail operations in Poland and Slovakia as well as selling its 49% stake in Portugal's Jerónimo Martins.

In July 2007, Ahold's Stop & Shop division announced that it would exit the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey market, selling 10 Super Stop & Shop stores to Wakefern, which will convert them to ShopRite Supermarkets[3]. The stores were all opened in the late 1990s under the Super G banner and represented new markets for Ahold. In 2005, the underperforming Super G stores switched banners and became Super Stop & Shop stores, in a failed attempt to revive sales. At that time, 4 New Jersey Super G stores were also shuttered.

Supermarket News ranked Ahold's U.S. division No. 7 in the 2007 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2006 fiscal year estimated sales of $24.0 billion.[4]




Formerly owned

North America

United States

Formerly owned

Ahold also formerly owned the Edwards chain of stores, but changed most of the stores under that banner to Stop & Shop in 2000.

Central America

Formerly owned

  • Ahold had a minority interest in La Fragua that operates supermarkets in Guatamala, Honduras, and El Salvador.[5]

South America

Formerly owned

  • Bompreo, Ahold's joined venture in Brazil, operated several Brazilian supermarket chains.[6]
  • Santa Isabel, Ahold's joint venture in Chile, operated supermarkets in Chile, Peru, Paraguay, and Ecuador.[6][5]
  • Ahold had an interest in Disco which operates supermarkets in Argentina.[6]

Major shareholders in Ahold

Some of Ahold's major shareholders are


  • Peter Wakkie has been Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Governance Counsel since 26 November 2003.

The previous CEO was Anders Moberg, while Rishton formerly served as CFO.



In the turbulent first quarter of 2004 sales declined 11% to € 15,4 billion and Ahold recorded a net loss of € 405 million. This was partly a result of the sale of subsidiaries in Brazil and Thailand at unfavorable prices, in an effort to limit the effects of the accounting scandal. At the end of the quarter, net debts were € 7,1 billion.

Over the full year 2004, Ahold's net sales were 52 billion €. This resulted in an operating income of 195 million € and a net loss of 436 million € by Dutch GAAP (€ 110 million by US GAAP). The net debt had been reduced to € 6.3 billion.

See also



  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2008". Royal Ahold. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  2. ^ [1], Ahold Corporate Website, Last accessed 6 May 2007.
  3. ^ [2], Stop & Shop to Close 10 Stores and Sell Them to Wakefern , Last accessed 11 July 2007.
  4. ^ 2007 Top 75 North American Food Retailers, Supermarket News, Last accessed 24 February 2007.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b c

External links


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