- The Washington Times - Monday, August 14, 2006

2:01 p.m.

Two of Royal Ahold NV’s largest shareholders today urged the company to sell its U.S. business, including Giant Food Inc., the largest grocery chain in the Washington area.

Centaurus Capital Ltd. and Paulson & Co. Inc., Britain and New York investment companies, said the Dutch retailer would increase shareholder value by selling its U.S. components, including the Landover chain and Stop & Shop grocery chain, and again becoming a solely European retailer.

The investment companies, which together own 6.4 percent of Ahold, said the company needs to take “drastic strategic action.”

“One of the best strategic actions to take for the future prospects of the company and for enhancing shareholder value is to sell Ahold’s U.S. businesses and become a pure play European retailer,” the companies said today.

Ahold spokesman Walter Samuels declined to comment on the statement but said: “We have a strong belief in ourselves and our potential and our stores. If you look at where we came from in ‘03, we came back, and now it’s time to focus on the business, and we’re fully aware of that. We have a lot of potential with our banners.”

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