Delhaize and Ahold to divest 86 U.S. stores

Delhaize Group and Ahold have reached agreements to sell 86 U.S. stores owned by subsidiaries in advance of the proposed merger of the two grocery operators.

The buyers include Weis Markets, which is buying 38 Food Lion locations in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

New York-based Tops Markets is buying one Stop & Shop store in Massachusetts as well as three Stop & Shop stores and two Hannaford stores in New York.

Supervalu is purchasing 22 Food Lion stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia; Publix is buying 10 Martin's stores in Richmond, Virginia; and Big Y in Massachusetts is buying eight Hannaford locations in eastern Massachusetts.

New Albertson's (part of Albertsons) is picking up a single Giant Food store in Salisbury, Maryland; and Pennsylvania-based Saubel's Markets is purchasing one Food Lion store in York, Pennsylvania.

"Selling stores is a difficult part of any merger process, given the impact on our associates, customers and communities in which we operate," said Frans Muller, president and CEO, Delhaize Group. "We believe we have made every effort to identify strong buyers for these locations, and we want to thank our loyal associates and customers who have shopped our stores and supported us for so many years. Upon the completion of the merger, we will continue to maintain our local Food Lion and Hannaford brands; however, our new company scale will enable us to accelerate our local market strategies to better serve our customers with nearly 2,000 stores along the East Coast in the United States."
Delhaize Group and Ahold announced their intended merger in June 2015.

The companies are seeking approval by the Federal Trade Commission, and these agreements are also subject to FTC clearance. The merger is expected to be completed before the end of July.

For more:
- see this Delhaize press release