Ahold sells U.S. Foodservice for $7.1B

May 2, 2007 at 9:07 PM
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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, May 2 (UPI) -- Dutch retail giant Ahold NV said Wednesday it would sell its U.S. Foodservice division to British and U.S. private-equity firms for $7.1 billion.

The international supermarket operator and food-service company, based in Amsterdam, said the purchase by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund VII LP and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. was expected to close in the second half of the year, pending approval by shareholders at a special meeting June 19.

U.S. Foodservice was the focus of a 2003 accounting scandal that sent Ahold's share prices plummeting and forced Ahold to restate earnings by almost $1 billion.

Ahold had improperly recorded rebates and discounts vendors paid to the U.S. Foodservice as revenue, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ahold later paid more than $1 billion to settle a shareholder lawsuit that followed the scandal.

U.S. Foodservice supplies food to 250,000 U.S. restaurants and hotels. It had 2006 net sales of $19.2 billion.

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