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Zaandam, The Netherlands -- Ahold has cancelled a three-year bank credit facility it had obtained in December 2003 to prop up its finances after a major accounting scandal erupted almost two years ago.
In announcing its intention to terminate a $1.45 billion secured back-up credit facility, Hannu Ryöppönen, Ahold's c.f.o. said the move "shows that we are delivering on our commitment to restore the company's financial health, which is a key element of our 'Road to Recovery' strategy. We are ahead of schedule in executing our divestment program and are nearing completion of this process. We feel we are now well positioned to move into a new financing phase on better terms."
With the high cash balances resulting from the success of its asset divestment program, Ahold said its liquidity position is strong and is in discussions with financial institutions to establish a new credit facility later this year at more favorable conditions. By terminating the facility, Ahold said it will cash collateralize up to $700 million worth of letters of credit that are currently issued under this facility.