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    Delhaize and Ahold Said to Place Merger Negotiations on Hold

    BRUSSELS -- Retail conglomerates Delhaize here and Ahold in Amsterdam have suspended merger talks, a Belgian newspaper reported over the weekend.

    BRUSSELS -- Retail conglomerates Delhaize here and Ahold in Amsterdam have suspended merger talks, a Belgian newspaper reported over the weekend.

    According to daily De Tijd, there were two reasons for the talks' suspension: rocky personal relations between the negotiators and recent reports in the Belgian and Dutch media. However, the paper added, the two companies haven't ruled out further talks in the future. Neither Delhaize nor Ahold would comment on the newspaper report.
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    Ahold, the fourth-largest food retail and foodservice group in the world by sales, is over twice Delhaize's size, but Delhaize, which runs such U.S. banners as Food Lion and Hannaford Bros., had reportedly expressed interest in a merger of equals. Both companies generate the majority of their sales in the United States and don't operate in each other's smaller home markets in Europe.

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