Ahold agrees to sale of U.S. Foodservice

by Eric Schroeder
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AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Dutch supermarket chain Royal Ahold N.V. reached agreement for the sale of its U.S. Foodservice unit, which sells bulk food to cafeterias, to a consortium of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund VII, L.P. and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. for $7.1 billion.

Ahold first announced its intent to sell the division in November as part of a larger plan to "accelerate identical sales growth, improve profit returns and strengthen the company’s foundation for future expansion."

Ahold said that while the unit has the potential to further improve its performance, the company only sees "limited near-term synergies between it and retail operations."

"I am extremely pleased to be able to announce that we have reached this important milestone for U.S. Foodservice, for Ahold and for our shareholders," said Anders Moberg, president and chief executive officer, Ahold. "We have focused on restructuring U.S. Foodservice, strengthening its capabilities and restoring profitability."

U.S. Foodservice is the second largest food service distributor in the United States, with $19.2 billion in sales during 2006.

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