Investments scheduled in Belgium by Delhaize will be upheld, pointed out leaders of the new Ahold Delhaize entity at a press conference on Tuesday. They hope to maintain and reinforce local supermarket presence in Europe and in the United States. “We support Delhaize on the Belgian market,” said the Ahold Delhaize managers. As for the continuing activities of the 31 Albert Heijn (Ahold) supermarkets in Flanders, CEO Dick Boer would not elaborate, saying it was “too early” to make a declaration.
The merger aims to develop synergies in order to make savings allowing more investment in the company for “long-term growth”, according to the current Delhaize CEO, Frans Muller. Supermarket customers will find more “value”, as will shareholders. Dividends will be distributed this year as planned, he stated.
Delhaize will benefit from Ahold’s experience with digital technology, whereas “fresh produce” (fruit and vegetables, meat, etc.) are Delhaize’s strength, explained Frans Muller. The savings made will also help us to invest in our personnel, pointed out Jan Hommen, current chairman of the Ahold board and future vice-president of the Ahold Delhaize group. He mentioned “opportunities” for staff in terms of “personal development” and careers.
The joint Ahold Delhaize company will serve over 50 million customers a week in the United States and in Europe, explained the managers. The group aims to be number 1 in Europe and number 3 worldwide.