In a statement, the Belgium-based Delhaize Group has acknowledged that it is in preliminary discussions with Royal Ahold N.V., based in The Netherlands, to explore a merger of the two companies. Both own major supermarket banners operating in the eastern United States.
The discussions may or may not result in a future transaction, the company stated, adding that it would communicate material updates, if any, in accordance with regulatory requirements.
Ahold, in its own statement, confirmed that it is involved in the merger discussions, also stipulating that no definite agreement had been reached.
At the end of March, Delhaize Group operated 3,410 stores globally. In 2014, Delhaize Group posted $29.4 billion in revenues. In the United States, it operates the Food Lion and Hannaford supermarket chains totaling just over 1,300 stores.
Ahold posted sales of about $36.9 billion in 2014. It operates 3,026 stores worldwide including, in the U.S., Stop & Shop, Giant Food, Giant Food Stores, Martin’s Food Markets, and online grocer Peapod. Its U.S. operation includes 770 stores and 210 product pick-up points.