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AMSTERDAM - Dutch retailer Ahold said today it had failed to reach an agreement to sell its controlling stake in the Argentine supermarket chain Disco to Chilean retailer Cencosud and had ended exclusive talks.
Ahold, the world's third-biggest food retail and foodservice group in sales terms, said it was continuing talks on the sale of Disco with interested parties but gave no further details.
Ahold is emerging from a 1 billion-euro accounting scandal and is seeking to raise money to cut its heavy debt. It has announced the sale of certain noncore assets and also recently held a $3.7 billion rights issue to help restore its finances.
The company said in a statement, "The exclusivity period for negotiations with Chilean retailer Cencosud S.A. for the sale of Ahold's controlling stake in the Argentine supermarket chain Disco S.A. has lapsed.
"Both parties could not reach final agreement within this period. Discussions on the sale of Disco are continuing with interested parties but cannot be commented on in detail at this stage," the retailer continued.
At the end of June Disco operated 237 stores in Argentina.