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Koninklijke Ahold N.V.
Company typePublic (N.V.)
ISINNL0011794037 Edit this on Wikidata
Founded1887 (137 years ago) (1887)
Defunct24 July 2016; 7 years ago (2016-07-24)
FateMerged with Delhaize
SuccessorAhold Delhaize
HeadquartersZaandam, Netherlands
Number of locations
Key people
ServicesConvenience/forecourt store, discount store, drug store/pharmacy, hypermarket/supercenter/superstore, other specialty, supermarket, online retailer
Revenue38.2 billion (2015)[1]
€1.3 billion (2015)[1]
€0.85 billion (2015)[1]
Total assets€15.88 billion (2015)[1]
Total equity€5.62 billion (2015)[1]
Number of employees
236,000 (2015)[1]

Koninklijke Ahold N.V. was a Dutch multinational retail company based in Zaandam, Netherlands. Founded in 1887 by Albert Heijn, Sr., the company initially began as a single grocery store in Oostzaan and became the largest grocery chain in the Netherlands in 1970s, Netherlands. The company went public in 1948. It merged with Belgium-based Delhaize Group in 2016 to form Ahold Delhaize.



Growth in the Netherlands


The company started in 1887, when Albert Heijn, Sr. opened the first Albert Heijn grocery store in Oostzaan, Netherlands. The grocery chain expanded through the first half of the 20th century, and went public in 1948.

Under the leadership of the founder's grandsons, Albert Jr. and Gerrit Jan Heijn, the company continued to make a significant impact on food retail in the Netherlands in the next four decades, pioneering self-service shopping, and the development of private labels and of non-food as a grocery store category. The company also influenced culinary development in the country, popularizing products such as wine, sherry and kiwi fruit, contributing to the introduction of the refrigerator in Dutch households and introducing convenience items, such as ready meals and frozen pizzas, to Dutch consumers.

Albert Heijn became the largest grocery chain in the Netherlands during this time, and expanded into liquor stores and health and beauty care stores in the 1970s. In 1973, the holding company Albert Heijn changed its name to "Ahold", an abbreviation of Albert Heijn Holding".[2][3]

International expansion


In the 1970s, the company began expanding internationally, acquiring companies in Spain and the United States. Under a new leadership team, which for the first time did not include any members of the Heijn family, the company accelerated its growth through acquisitions in the latter half of the 1990s in Latin America, Central Europe, and Asia.

Ahold N.V. received the designation "Royal" from Dutch Queen Beatrix in 1987, awarded to companies that have operated honorably for one hundred years.[4] That same year Gerrit Jan Heijn, Ahold executive and only brother of Albert Heijn, was kidnapped for ransom and murdered.[2]

Accounting crisis


The company's ambitious global expansion was halted by the announcement of accounting irregularities at some of Ahold's subsidiaries in February 2003. The CEO, Cees van der Hoeven, and CFO, Michael Meurs, and a number of senior management resigned as a result, and earnings over 2001 and 2002 had to be restated. The main accounting irregularities occurred at U.S. Foodservice (now US Foods), and, on a smaller scale, Tops Markets, in the United States, where income related to promotional allowances was overstated. In addition, accounting irregularities were found at the company's Argentine subsidiary Disco, and it was determined that the financial results of certain joint ventures had been accounted for improperly.[5]

As a result of the announcements, the company's share price plunged by two-thirds, and its credit rating was reduced to BB+ by Standard & Poor's.[6]


The irregularities led to various investigations and criminal charges by both Dutch and U.S. law enforcement authorities against Ahold and several of its former executives.

Dutch law enforcement authorities filed fraud charges against Ahold, which were settled in September 2004,[7] when Ahold paid a fine of approximately €8 million. Ahold's former CEO, CFO, and the former executive in charge of its European activities were charged with fraud by the Dutch authorities. In May 2006, a Dutch appeals court found Ahold's former CEO and CFO guilty of false authentication of documents, and they received suspended prison sentences and unconditional fines.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in October 2004, that it had completed its investigation and reached a final settlement with Ahold.[8]

In January 2006, Ahold announced that it had reached a settlement of US$1.1 billion (€937 million) in a securities class action lawsuit filed against the company in the United States by shareholders and former shareholders.[9] Another class action lawsuit was filed against Ahold's auditors, Deloitte, but this suit was dismissed.[10] The suit was brought up again by shareholders in 2007,[11] and by a different shareholder group in 2012.[12]

The SEC filed fraud charges against four former executives of U.S. Foodservice: the company's former CFO, former chief marketing officer, and two former purchasing executives. The purchasing executives settled the charges.[13] The former chief marketing officer was sentenced to 46 months in prison.[14] The former CFO was sentenced to six months of home detention and three years' probation.[15]

Road to recovery


Anders Moberg became CEO on 5 May 2003.[16] Under his and other new leadership appointed following the crisis, Ahold launched a "Road to Recovery" strategy in late 2003 to restore its financial health, regain credibility, and strengthen its business.[17]

As part of this strategy, Ahold announced it would divest all operations in markets where it could not achieve a sustainable number one or two position within three to five years, and that could not meet defined profitability and return criteria over time. The company divested all its operations in South America and Asia, retaining a core group of profitable companies in Europe and the United States. As part of its Road to Recovery strategy, Ahold strengthened accountability, controls and corporate governance and restored its financial health, regaining investment grade in 2007.[18]

Strategy for profitable growth


In November 2006, Ahold announced the results of a major strategic review of its businesses.[19] As a result of this review, Ahold launched its strategy for profitable growth focused on strengthening its retail competitive position, particularly in the United States. The company focused on building its brands by creating an improved product and service offering, delivered an improved price position and lowered operating costs; and reorganized the company into two continental organizations led by Chief Operating Officers. As part of the strategy, Ahold further focused its portfolio, including the divestment of U.S. Foodservice (completed in July 2007, to CD&R and KKR for US$7.1 billion), Tops (completed in December 2007, for US$310 million to Morgan Stanley Private Equity) and the company's operations in Poland (completed in July 2007, to Carrefour). The company made solid progress in delivering its strategy under the leadership of John Rishton, appointed CEO in November 2007, who had been part of the team that developed the strategy in his previous role as CFO.[3]

In November 2011, under the leadership of Dick Boer, appointed CEO in March 2011,[3] Ahold announced a new phase of its growth strategy, "Reshaping Retail". This strategy has six pillars - three designed to create growth and three to enable this growth. The six pillars are: increasing customer loyalty, broadening our offering, expanding geographic reach, simplicity, responsible retailing, and our people.[20]

Merger with Delhaize Group


On 24 June 2015, Delhaize Group reached an agreement with Ahold to merge, forming a new company, Ahold Delhaize. At completion of the merger, Ahold shareholders will own 61% of the new combined company while Delhaize Group shareholders will hold the remaining 39%.[21][22][23] Ahold CEO Dick Boer will become CEO of the merged company, with Frans Muller, CEO of Delhaize to become deputy CEO and chief integration officer. [24]



A list of assets (formally) owned by Ahold.[25][26][27][28]


(also known as)

Share Type Country Period Fate
Albert Heijn

AH To Go, AH XL, AH Online

100% Supermarket  Netherlands 1887 - 2016 Merged with Ahold Delhaize
 Germany 2011 - 2016
 Belgium 2011 - 2016
Ahold Coffee Company


100% Roastery  Netherlands 1895/1910 - 2016 Merged with Ahold Delhaize
AC Restaurants

Alberts Corner

100% Restaurant chain 1963 - 1989 Management buy-out / sold to an investment company
Miro 100% Hypermarkets 1971 - 1987 Formula shut down, stores remodelled to different Ahold formulas.

Family Food

50% Fast food chain 1971 - 1972 Sold to McDonalds
Simon de Wit 100% Supermarket 1972 - 1980 Merged with Albert Heijn
S-Discounts 100% Discountstore 1972 - 1980 Shut down
Nettomarkten 100% Hypermarkets 1972 - 1982 Sold
Toko Kampwinkels 100% Camping store 1972 - 1988
Ostara 100% Holidayparks 1972 - 1989
Ter Huurne 100% Supermarket 1972 - 2014
Alberto 100% Liquor Store 1974 - 1989 Merged with Gall & Gall
Lita 100% Catalog Store 1973 - 1976 Sold
Jobby 100% D.I.Y. Store 1973 - 1979 Shut down
Etos 100% Drugstore 1973 - 2016 Merged with Ahold Delhaize
 Belgium 1988 - 1995 Sold
CadaDia 100% Supermarket  Spain 1976 - 1985 Shut down
Bi-Lo 100%  United States 1977 - 2004 Sold
Giant Food Stores 100% 1981 - 2016 Merged with Ahold Delhaize
d' Swarte Walvis

De Walvis

100% Restaurant  Netherlands 1984 - 2003 Sold to Nedstede Groep

Grootverbruik Ahold

100%  Netherlands
1985 - 2009 Sold to Bidvest Group
Edwards 100% Supermarket  United States 1988 - 1995 Merged with Stop & Shop
Finast 100% 1988 - 1994 Merged with Edwards
Pragmacare 100% Pharmaceutical  Netherlands 1988 - 1995 Sold
Schuitema 73% Wholesale and distribution 1988 - 2008
Gall & Gall 100% Liquor Store 1989 - 2016 Merged with Ahold Delhaize
Party Shop 100% 1989 - 1989 Merged with Gall & Gall
Tops Markets 100% Supermarket  United States 1991 - 2006 Sold
Albert[25] 100%  Czech Republic 1991 - 2016 Merged with Ahold Delhaize
De Tuinen 100% Drugstore  Netherlands 1991 - 2003 Sold to Holland & Barrett
Pingo Doce 49% Supermarket  Portugal 1992 - 2016 Merged with Ahold Delhaize
Feira Nova 100% 1993 - 2010 Merged with Pingo Doce
Funchalgest 45% (1995)

50% (1999)

1995 - 2009
Jamin 100% Candystore  Netherlands 1993 - 2003 Management buy-out
Red Food Stores 100% Supermarket  United States 1994 - 1994 Merged with Bi-Lo
Ahold Polska 50% (1995)

100% (1998)

 Poland 1995 - 2007 Sold
Stop & Shop 100%  United States 1995 - 2016 Merged with Ahold Delhaize
Tops 65% (1996)

100% (2000)

 Malaysia 1996 - 2003 Sold to Giant
50%  Thailand 1996 - 2004 Sold to Central Group
70% (1996)

100% (2002)

 Indonesia 1996 - 2003 Sold to PT Hero Supermarket
50%  China 1996 - 1999 Sold
50%  Singapore 1996 - 1999
Bompreco 100%  Brasil 1996 - 2004 Sold to Wal-Mart
Hipercard 100% Banking Sold to Unibanco
Store 2000 50% Supermarket  Spain 1997 - 1997 Sold to Caprabo
Disco International Holdings 50%
Disco 90% Supermarket  Argentina 1998 - 2005 Sold to Cencosud
Santa Isabel 65%  Chile 1998 - 2003
 Paraguay Sold to A.J. Viervi
 Peru Sold to Grupo Interbank and Nexus Group
Paiz Ahold 50% 1999 - 2005 Sold
CSU International 100% Discoutstores



 Costa Rica
La Frague 85,6%  Guatemala
 El Salvador
Dialco 100% Supermarket  Spain 1999 - 2004
Dumaya 100%
Guerrero 100%
Castillo del Barrio 100%
Longinos Velasco 100%
U.S. Foodservice 100% Foodservice Distributor  United States 1999 - 2007
Peapod 51% (2000)

100% (2001)

Online Grocer  United States 2000 - 2016 Merged with Ahold Delhaize
Golden Gallon 100% Gas stations  United States 2000 - 2003 Sold
ICA 50% (2000)

60% (2004)




2000 - 2013
Bruno's 100% Supermarket  United States 2001 - 2001 Merged with Bi-Lo
Ahold Slovakia 100%  Slovakia 2001 - 2013 Sold
G. Barbosa 100%  Brasil 2001 - 2005 Sold to AON Invests
Bol.com 100% Webshop  Netherlands
2012 - 2016 Merged with Ahold Delhaize

Major shareholders in Ahold


Ahold's major shareholders were:[29]

  • Stichting Administratiekantoor Preferente Financieringsaandelen Ahold (Capital interest: 20.19%; Voting rights: 6.55%)
  • Mondrian Investment Partners Limited (Capital interest: 4.26%; Voting rights: 4.99%)
  • ING Groep N.V (Capital interest: 9.26%; Voting rights: 4.92%)
  • Blackrock, Inc (Capital interest: 2.99%; Voting rights: 4.46%)
  • Deutsche Bank AG (Capital interest: 3.63%; Voting rights: 4.26%)
  • DeltaFort Beleggingen B.V. (Capital interest: 11.23%; Voting rights: 3.82%)
  • Silchester International Investors LLP (Capital interest: 3.00%; Voting rights: 3.52%)

Key people



  • Frans W. H. Muller (born 1961), chief executive officer since March 2018.
  • Jeff Carr (17 September 1961), chief financial officer since November 2011.
  • Hanneke Faber (19 April 1969), chief commercial officer since September 2013 (until end of 2017).
  • James McCann (4 October 1969), chief operating officer Ahold USA since February 2013.
  • Wouter Kolk (26 April 1966) chief operating officer Ahold Netherlands since February 2015.
  • Jan Ernst de Groot (11 April 1965), chief legal officer since February 2015.
  • Abbe Luersman (4 December 1967), chief human resources officer.

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2015". Royal Ahold. Retrieved 23 May 2016.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Albert Heijn memorial site". Royal Ahold. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Ahold history". Royal Ahold. Archived from the original on 17 December 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  4. ^ List of company name etymologies#cite note-15
  5. ^ "Ahold announces significantly reduced earnings expected for 2002". Royal Ahold. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Ahold shares slump as executives are sacked over US profits error". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  7. ^ Crouch, Gregory (30 September 2004). "Former Chief of Royal Ahold Facing Charges". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 15 July 2024.
  8. ^ "Ahold reaches final settlement with SEC". Royal Ahold. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Ahold receives preliminary approval of settlement of securities class action in the United States". Royal Ahold. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  10. ^ "Judge says Deloitte & Touche not liable for Ahold's fraud". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  11. ^ "Deloitte faces huge Ahold claim". 27 November 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Deloitte Faces Dutch Shareholder Suit Over Ahold Fraud". Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Europe's Enron: Royal Ahold N.V." (PDF). Price College of Business. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  14. ^ "Ex-Ahold Official Mark Kaiser Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for Fraud". Bloomberg. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  15. ^ "Former Ahold CFO Avoids Prison". CFO.com. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  16. ^ "Ahold to nominate Anders Moberg as President and CEO". Royal Ahold. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  17. ^ "Road to Recovery program highlights". Royal Ahold. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  18. ^ "S&P Lifts Ahold to investment grade; CDS tighter". Reuters. 4 May 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  19. ^ "Ahold announces strategy for profitable growth". Royal Ahold. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  20. ^ "Ahold presents its six strategic pillars to accelerate growth". Royal Ahold. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  21. ^ "Ahold and Delhaize announce intention to merge". Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  22. ^ "Growing Dutch company eats up Maine-based Hannaford chain". The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram. 24 June 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Stop & Shop parent to purchase owner of Hannaford". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  24. ^ "Ahold, Delhaize complete merger agreement". SupermarketNews. 24 June 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  25. ^ a b "Annual Report 2019" (PDF). AholdDelhaize.com. p. 192.
  26. ^ "Jaarverslagen | 1 januari 1997 | pagina 46". albertheijnerfgoed.courant.nu (in Dutch). January 1997. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  27. ^ "Jaarverslag Ahold | 1 januari 2003 | pagina 1". albertheijnerfgoed.courant.nu (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  28. ^ "Jaarverslagen". albertheijnerfgoed.courant.nu. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Annual Report 2013" Archived 12 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Koninklijke Ahold N.V. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  30. ^ Ahold. "Executive Committee and Management Board". www.ahold.com. Retrieved 10 February 2016.