Ahold confirms De Tuinen sale

- Last updated on GMT

Dutch food group Ahold said today that a definitive agreement has
been reached with US firm NBTY, for the divestment of its natural
products retailer De Tuinen.

Dutch food group Ahold said today that a definitive agreement has been reached with US firm NBTY, for the divestment of its natural products retailer De Tuinen.

The deal will amount to around €16 million in cash. The transaction has received all necessary approvals.

De Tuinen has been part of Ahold's Dutch health and beauty care division since 1991 and consists of 41 owned stores and 25 franchise stores. Products include over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements and natural beauty care products. Holland & Barrett Europe, a British subsidiary of NBTY, with around 1,000 stores in the United States, Great Britain and Ireland, will take over the chain which should be phased into NBTY by the end of December 2003, according to the firm.

During this transition, Holland & Barrett will be permitted use of several Ahold facilities as well as logistics and other back-office services, said Ahold. De Tuinen's customers will not notice a significant change, as the company will continue to operate under the same brand name and offer its current range of natural products. New locations for the De Tuinen head office and distribution centre will be sought during this period.

The divestment of De Tuinen, announced on 11 December 2002, is part of Ahold's portfolio restructuring. NBTY also recently bought the Numico-owned UK retail business the Health & Diet Group for €15.6 million.

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