ID NEWS: Buyers said to be interested, if Ahold seeks to sell units

Carrefour SA, a major European rival of Royal Ahold, Zaandam, The Netherlands, and buyout firms such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., may bid for Ahold businesses, according to the Bloomberg news service.

Carrefour has indicated it would look into buying units "if approached," while Kohlberg Kravis, the world's biggest buyout firm, is said to be interested in bidding on U.S. assets.

Ahold continues to struggle with problems sparked last week by an announcement of at least $500 million in profits that had been overstated, as a result of accounting irregularities discovered at its U.S. Foodservice subsidiary. The latest: Lenders are reported to have frozen the remainder of a $2-billion line of credit, while Ahold negotiates a new loan expected to come with restrictions typical for borrowers that have "strained financial credibility"-this from the Baltimore Sun.

Investors conjecture that Ahold will have to sell businesses to repay more than $13 billion of debt. In the last week, Ahold has stated that it expects to sell "peripheral assets" but is not prepared to sell larger business units such as USF, says Bloomberg.


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