This acquisition is in line with Ahold's strategy to expand its geographic reach in both current and adjacent markets, and focus on leading market positions. Ahold has had a presence in the Czech Republic since 1991 and has developed the business under the Albert brand name to become one of the best known food retailers in the country.
Commenting on the acquisition, Dick Boer, CEO of Ahold, said: "Our Czech Republic Albert's business has continued to successfully improve the performance of its business during recent years. The acquisition of SPAR's business in the Czech Republic is an important strategic step and marks an exciting new phase for Ahold in the Czech Republic. It allows us to combine two companies that have a natural fit and that share a continuous focus on quality and value, and becoming a better place to shop for our customers. It will provide our large base of local suppliers access to an even bigger market, and I look forward to welcoming the associates to our company."
Rudolf Staudinger, board director responsible for foreign operations at the Austrian SPAR AG, commented: "Our company strategy entails that we manage to establish a satisfying market position in the countries we do business in. Our conclusion was that this could not be realized in the Czech Republic and we will concentrate on other markets such as Italy, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. As we therefore withdraw from the Czech Republic, we are pleased that we have found a new home for our business and for our employees."
Ahold currently operates 284 Albert supermarkets and compact hypers in the Czech Republic. Following the acquisition of SPAR, the company will have over 330 stores, becoming the number one food retailing brand in the country.