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There are reports out of Europe this morning that Delhaize CFO Craig Owens is trying to show the speculation that the sale of US Foodservice by Ahold to a financial equity group makes the company more attractive as an acquisition target.

The heightened speculation stems from a comment Owens made earlier this year saying that such a divestiture would make Ahold more “complementary” to the Delhaize’s operations.

Now, however, he is saying that the comment was taken out of context, and that he was only saying that getting rid of US Foodservice would make the two companies more similar.

Delhaize CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers has said that while he is open to acquisitions, his priority is “fill-in” purchases that will strengthen Delhaize in markets where it already operates.
KC's View:
Maybe it would be a big “fill-in” buy, but wouldn’t Ahold’s US operations strengthen Delhaize’s existing operations here?

We still think that in the current environment, where so many companies are consolidating, a Delhaize-Ahold deal makes sense…at least here in the US. We’re just guessing here, but if such a deal took place, we suspect that one of the first things that Delhaize might do is restore to Giant of Landover some of the local autonomy that it used to have and that used to give it such cachet in the Washington-Baltimore marketplace.