Ahold, (in full Koninklijke Ahold N.V., Royal Ahold N.V.), (, SWX: AHO) is a major international supermarket operator based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Ahold is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
This ambitious global expansion was halted by fraud at the chain's American subsidiary U.S. Foodservice and by a Board level accounting scandal. In February 2003, the CEO and CFO resigned following charges of financial irregularities. Earnings over 2001 and 2002 had to be restated and the company began selling off some of its grocery chains in Latin America and elsewhere.
A similar scandal, albeit on a much smaller scale, arose in the Tops Markets unit at about the same time. The total of all liabilities and public image damage thus incurred proved burdensome and very difficult to overcome. By 2003, Ahold had totally pulled out of Asia. It has also pulled out of Brazil, once a sizable market for Ahold, and it sold the Bi-Lo and Bruno's chains in the United States.
In July 2006, it announced that the Northeast Ohio division of Tops Markets would be put up for sale and that the stores in that region would close by the end of the year regardless of whether or not they had been sold. In early October of that same year, Ahold issued a statement in compliance with the WARN Act, or Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, indicating that the stores would, indeed, close on December 8, 2006, regardless of whether they had been sold. In early November, Ahold announced that the remainder of the Tops chain in the states of New York and Pennsylvania would be put up for sale.
Ahold announced details of a major strategic review on November 6, 2006. As of May 2007 Ahold has reached a definitive agreement for the sale of U.S. Foodservice to a consortium of CD&R and KKR for 7.1 billion USD. It will also divest retail operations in Poland and Slovakia as well as selling its 49% stake in Portugal's Jeronimo Martins.
In July 2007, Ahold's Stop & Shop division announced that it would exit the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey market, selling 10 Super Stop & Shop stores to Wakefern, which will convert them to ShopRite Supermarkets. The stores were all opened in the late 1990s under the Super G banner and represented new markets for Ahold. In 2005, the underperforming Super G stores switched banners and became Super Stop & Shop stores, in a failed attempt to revive sales. At that time, 4 New Jersey Super G stores were also shuttered.
Supermarket News ranked Ahold's U.S. division No. 7 in the 2007 "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" based on 2006 fiscal year estimated sales of $24.0 billion.
Ahold also formerly owned the Edwards chain of stores, but changed most of the stores under that banner to Stop & Shop in 2000.
The previous CEO was Anders Moberg, while Rishton formerly served as CFO.
Over the full year 2004, Ahold's net sales were 52 billion €. This resulted in an operating income of 195 million € and a net loss of 436 million € by Dutch GAAP (€ 110 million by US GAAP). The net debt had been reduced to € 6.3 billion.