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ZAANDAM, The Netherlands -- Dutch retailer Ahold completed the sale of its Bi-Lo and Bruno's supermarket subsidiaries to an affiliate of Dallas-based Lone Star Funds.
Ahold said in December that Lone Star Funds, which manages more than $13 billion in assets and investments in North America, Europe and Asia, had agreed to pay as much as $660 million for the two chains pending completion of fulfillment of customary closing conditions, including antitrust approval.
Ahold acquired Mauldin, S.C.-based Bi-Lo in 1977, and Bruno's, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., in 2001. The two chains have a combined store count of over 450 supermarkets and amassed 2003 net sales of approximately $6.1 billion. Ahold, the world's fourth largest retailer, sold the stores to pay off debt.
"We are pleased to be able to complete the divestment of BI-LO and Bruno's to Lone Star as planned," said Ahold President and c.e.o. Anders Moberg. "This transaction is part of our strategy to optimize our portfolio and strengthen our financial position by reducing debt. We are nearing completion of our divestment program ahead of time and are well on our way along the Road to Recovery," he said, alluding to the company's restrucuring initiative. He added that the company's divestment program is nearly complete.