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ID NEWS: Ahold says it still intends to make September 30 deadline

Royal Ahold, Zaandam, The Netherlands, has reiterated that it intends to make the September 30 deadline for delivering its 2002 audited accounts to its syndicate of banks, says a Dow Jones report (ID web news 9/24/03).

Nevertheless, an Ahold spokesman told the news service, ability to deliver the accounts depends on auditors signing off on them. "[As things stand], there is no sign whether the auditors will or will not sign off on the accounts," the spokesman reportedly said.

The deadline expires at midnight on Tuesday, September 30. Once delivered, the accounts must be delivered to the market "as soon as possible," the spokesman, Fritz Schmuhl, said. This could mean Wednesday, if the accounts are delivered late the night before.

If Ahold does not meet the deadline, it will lose access to the first tranche of a EUR2.65-billion credit line arranged by a syndicate of banks after widespread accounting irregularities of approximately $1 billion of operating profits between 2000-2002 were discovered. More than $800 million of the overstated profits were found at Ahold's Columbia, MD, based U.S. Foodservice (USF) subsidiary.

USF CEO Jim Miller stepped down as a consequence, and industry expectations are that a new ceo will be announced during the week of the filing deadline, September 29-October 3.
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