While heavily criticzing Michiel Meurs, the former finance executive, the 15-month investigation by the enterprise court also blamed former ceo Cees van der Hoeven for his role as "sparring partner" for Meurs, the AP reported.
According to the news agency, the three-member court said Ahold knew about weak internal controls within its U.S. Foodservice, Columbia, MD, subsidiary before it was acquired in 2000, and yet failed to act even after warnings of accounting weaknesses.
Furthermore, the court's report accused Ahold's management of overlooking internal controls because it was heavily concerned with achieving double-digit growth targets, the report said.
However, CFO magazine said in the wake of the AP story that Meurs, in an interview five years ago, assured it that Royal Ahold only buys "good companies." Meurs said, "A shareholder never has to be worried about being diluted in the case of an Ahold acquisition."