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ZAANDAM, The Netherlands - Ahold today announced it has reached agreement on the sale of its stake in CRC.Ahold, operating in Thailand, to its partner, the Central Group. The divestment, which is effective immediately, is the final step in the overall sale of Ahold's Asian operations. The transaction sum was not disclosed.
Currently, CRC.Ahold Co. Ltd. operates 47 stores and has a wholesale business delivering to some 300 convenience stores in Thailand with unaudited aggregate 2003 sales of approximately EUR 312 million. Ahold employs about 6,000 people in Thailand.
The Central Group is one of Thailand's largest private corporations. Central Group consists of six main divisions: retail, hotels, property, wholesale, manufacturing and food franchises.
The divestment of Ahold's activities in Asia is part of Ahold's strategy to optimize its portfolio and to strengthen its financial position by reducing debt. In 2003, Ahold completed the sale of its Indonesian and Malaysian operations.
In other Ahold news, president and c.e.o. Anders Moberg told shareholders today that sales so for this year had met the company's expectations.
"We have had a great start to the year. Sales so far this year have been in line with expectations," he said at a shareholders meeting.