Giant's pending owner expanding in Spain

Maryland Watch

September 03, 1998

Royal Ahold NV, the Dutch food giant that is buying Landover-based Giant Food Inc. for $2.7 billion, said yesterday that it is in talks with Spanish supermarket company Dialco SA over a possible joint venture and agreed to buy another supermarket company, Dumaya, to expand its Spanish operations.

Dialco, Spain's oldest supermarket company, had 1997 sales of nearly $200 million, Ahold said, adding that Dumaya, a smaller family-run food retailer, had 1997 sales of $75 million.

Cees van der Hoeven, Ahold's chief executive, has said previously that the company is looking to the western United States for more growth and also needs more "critical mass" in Europe, particularly in Spain.

Ahold is waiting for Federal Trade Commission approval to complete its acquisition of Giant, which it expects within a few weeks. The company may have to sell as many as 10 stores to gain approval for the purchase.

Ahold will release second-quarter earnings today, and they are expected to show second-quarter profit rose 25.4 percent to $131.4 million, from $104.8 million a year earlier.

Pub Date: 9/03/98

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