NEWS WATCH: AHOLD TO HOLD SHAREHOLDERS' MEETING SEPT. 4...$500 MILLION-PLUS BILL IN VISA/MASTERCARD CASE...EAGLE SELLS EIGHT MORE STORES

AHOLD TO HOLD SHAREHOLDERS' MEETING SEPT. 4last week it will hold a general shareholders' meeting Sept. 4 in The Hague. The company said it will explain at the meeting why it is delaying the release of its consolidated 2002 financial statements. Ahold also said it will issue detailed financial information on Sept. 4 about Albert Heijn, its Dutch supermarket chain, and Stop & Shop Supermarkets, Quincy,

AHOLD TO HOLD SHAREHOLDERS' MEETING SEPT. 4

last week it will hold a general shareholders' meeting Sept. 4 in The Hague. The company said it will explain at the meeting why it is delaying the release of its consolidated 2002 financial statements. Ahold also said it will issue detailed financial information on Sept. 4 about Albert Heijn, its Dutch supermarket chain, and Stop & Shop Supermarkets, Quincy, Mass.

$500 MILLION-PLUS BILL IN VISA/MASTERCARD CASE

NEW YORK -- The attorneys who successfully represented more than 5 million U.S. retailers in their $3.05 billion class-action lawsuit against the country's two largest payment card companies -- Visa USA, San Francisco; and MasterCard International, Purchase, N.Y. -- asked last week to be paid more than $500 million for their efforts. Constantine & Partners here, the law firm that served as lead counsel in the suit, said it has filed a petition in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, asking that the 29 law firms that worked on the case be granted legal fees amounting to 18% of the compensatory damages. The law firm also said it filed with the court a proposed formula for distributing the settlement funds to the retailers, who have until Sept. 3 to file objections that will be aired at a Sept. 25 fairness hearing.

EAGLE SELLS EIGHT MORE STORES

MILAN, Ill. -- Eagle Food Centers here said last week it has accepted bids for certain assets of eight stores, all in Illinois. Kroger Co., Cincinnati, was the highest bidder for one store each in Sterling, Lincoln, Decatur and Ottawa, as well as two stores in Rockford, according to Eagle. The company said SVT LLC was the successful bidder for its Kankakee unit, and Harold E. Wisted the successful bidder for its Woodstock location. Eagle, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April, said it will submit these proposed sales for approval at a Sept. 11 hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago, and added that it plans to hold an auction for 10 more stores on Thursday..

FCC RELEASES STAY ORDER FOR COMMERCIAL FAX RULE

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission said last week it has extended to Jan. 1, 2005, the effective date of its new rule requiring written consent before sending advertising faxes. The move was hailed by Food Marketing Institute here, one of several industry associations that had been urging the FCC to reconsider the new rule.