With the possibility of an Ahold/Delhaize merger on the horizon, new reports are stating that the Dutch CEO of Delhaize Group, Frans Muller, could be leading the combined company. According to DutchNews.nl, this information was provided by Petercam analyst Fernand de Boer.
In the report, de Boer notes that Ahold’s Chief Executive Dick Boer will transition to President of the Supervisory Board and believes Ahold will pay €40 to €245 a share plus 2.5 to 3 Ahold shares for the Belgian company, according to the Financieele Dagblad reports.
As we previously reported, Delhaize and Ahold announced that they were in merger talks and are now reportedly aiming to have a deal struck as soon as the end of this month.
In response to a complaint by Dutch investor union VEB on behalf of a group of small shareholders, Ahold said it would ultimately explain the timing of its disclosure of talks between the company and Delhaize that was announced in May, according to MarketWatch. VEB requested a meeting with Ahold's board of Directors today, to address investor concerns about a potential leaking of information which may have impacted the company's share price.
VEB spokesman Eroll Keyner told Dow Jones Newswire, "We do not ask for information about the nature and status of the talks. Just a clear explanation, why the preliminary talks were not confirmed sooner.”
On Saturday May 9th, rumors of preliminary merger talks between the retailers were published in local media which gave them essentially two days to confirm before Monday morning markets opened, VEB said.
Ahold and Delhaize had waited until Tuesday May 12th to confirm the talks, after Ahold's share price went up 5.5% to 18.18 euros on Monday May 11th, having closed at EUR17.23 on Friday May 8, VEB said, according to MarketWatch. Ahold shares moved up another 3% to EUR18.78 after confirmation, at the opening of the market on Tuesday May 12th.
"Shareholders may have been disadvantaged by this late disclosure, for instance those who sold their Ahold shares on Monday," Mr. Keyner said.
The merger would combine about 6,600 stores and about $68.5 billion in sales and could also create a top 20 global retailer, with footholds in Europe and the U.S.
Stay tuned to DeliMarket News as we continue to follow the merger talks between Ahold and Delhaize.