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    Ahold to Divest Natural Products Subsidiary

    ZAANDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - Ahold on Wednesday announced its intention to divest wholly-owned subsidiary De Tuinen, a chain of 65 natural product stores located throughout the Netherlands.

    ZAANDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - Ahold on Wednesday announced its intention to divest wholly-owned subsidiary De Tuinen, a chain of 65 natural product stores located throughout the Netherlands. Ahold said the move is in line with its strategy is to focus on its core businesses.

    De Tuinen will be sold to Holland & Barrett Europe Ltd., a British subsidiary of U.S.-based NBTY Inc., for approximately Euro 16.5 million ($16.63 million). The transaction is subject to the customary approvals by regulatory authorities and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2003, Ahold said.

    De Tuinen, with sales of approximately Euro 30 million, has been part of the Ahold group of companies since 1991. The stores offer a wide assortment of over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, gift items and natural beauty care products. Holland & Barrett, as part of the NBTY group, is an international producer of dietary supplements with approximately 1,000 stores in the United States, Great Britain and Ireland.

    The company will continue to operate under the same brand name and will still be offering the same range of natural products. In addition, De Tuinen's 350 employees are being retained by the new management.

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