Citing "people familiar with the situation," the Financial Times said that Dudley Eustace, Ahold's interim cfo, and other executives want to sell USF to help reduce $14 billion in debt and regain credibility with investors. Eustace is said to have received "expressions of interest" in a range of assets from private equity and venture capital groups and has "made it clear" Ahold wants to sell the $17.5-billion broadliner.
However, the price tag for USF would likely be "much smaller" than the $3.6 billion Ahold paid for the distributor in early 2000.
One industry pundit suggests he has heard in several places that Sara Lee may want to get involved again, "and-or-with" some ex-PYA/Monarch people.
Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Justice Department investigations of $880 million in accounting irregularities at USF continue and reportedly have widened to include a number of suppliers.