WAS SAINSBURY PULLBACK A RETREAT?

LONDON -- J. Sainsbury plc here last week insisted that its decision to sell its stake in Giant Food, Landover, Md., doesn't represent a withdrawal from the U.S. food retail market, where it continues to own Shaw's Supermarkets, East Bridgewater, Mass.But analysts were left wondering what it did mean.The $611.2 million that Ahold, Zaandam, Netherlands, is paying for Sainsbury's stake represents a

LONDON -- J. Sainsbury plc here last week insisted that its decision to sell its stake in Giant Food, Landover, Md., doesn't represent a withdrawal from the U.S. food retail market, where it continues to own Shaw's Supermarkets, East Bridgewater, Mass.

But analysts were left wondering what it did mean.

The $611.2 million that Ahold, Zaandam, Netherlands, is paying for Sainsbury's stake represents a profit of about $163 million on Sainsbury's three-and-a-half year investment

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