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ID NEWS: Ahold to request deadline extension for results report

Royal Ahold, Zaandam, the Netherlands, says it will ask its shareholders to allow the supermarket and foodservice distribution giant to postpone publication of its 2002 results by a maximum of six months from a May 29 deadline. However, plans are still to publish the figures before June 30, as per stipulation under a bank liquidity facility.

If Ahold gains approval of this request at its general meeting on May 13, the company will have until the end of November to complete its report. The aim is to first complete investigations into bookkeeping practices, including the alleged improper booking of promo monies at Ahold's U.S. Foodservice subsidiary.

In addition, Reuters reports that sources indicate Ahold will eliminate some assets to reduce debt and regain investor confidence, but a "fire sale" of businesses is not likely. Moreover, the sources say Ahold probably will seek a merger within several years.

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