Ahold and Delhaize shareholders approve merger plans
Now that the deal has been made, getting Ahold and Delhaize shareholders to vote to approve a merger between the two grocery giants will probably turn out to be the easiest part of the process. That’s because Ahold and Delhaize still need to gain approval from regulators in the U.S. After that, they’ll need to figure out how to compete against the likes of Kroger, Publix and Wegmans while going through a major corporate integration.
In a conference call earlier this month with analysts, Ahold CEO Dick Boer said he was excited about the synergies that should be realized as a result of the merger with Delhaize.
“Our integration teams with both people from both Ahold and Delhaize are fully up to speed, getting our companies ready for day one, while respecting the legal limitations until the merger is in effect, of course,” said Mr. Boer.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Ahold’s Giant and Stop & Shop chains were able to gain market share in the New York and Philadelphia markets in the most recent quarters as they drew in customers following the bankruptcy of A&P. The story was less positive in Boston and Washington, D.C. where same-store sales increases were in line or slightly ahead of the rate of inflation.
Delhaize continues to push its Easy, Fresh & Affordable initiative at Food Lion. The chain has remodeled 162 stores to date with another 142 slated for remodels in 2016.
- Ahold, Delhaize shareholders approve Benelux supermarket merger – Reuters
- How Ahold’s U.S. Recovery Comes At a Price – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Koninklijke Ahold’s CEO Dick Boer on Q4 2015 Results (Earnings Call Transcript) – Seeking Alpha
- Delhaize Group 2015 Results – Delhaize Group/Seeking Alpha
Photos: Ahold, Delhaize
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the biggest challenges Ahold and Delhaize will face as they go through the merger process? How will integrating the two companies affect the competitive positions of the supermarket chains they operate?