NEWSWATCH

Ahold Expects Merger To Close By Nov. 30aid last week it expects to complete the acquisition of Alliant Foodservice by the end of November, earlier than originally anticipated. The waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act with respect to Ahold's acquisition of Alliant expired last week without objection by the Federal Trade Commission.Kmart Renews Credit AgreementTROY, Mich. -- Kmart Corp. here

Ahold Expects Merger To Close By Nov. 30

aid last week it expects to complete the acquisition of Alliant Foodservice by the end of November, earlier than originally anticipated. The waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act with respect to Ahold's acquisition of Alliant expired last week without objection by the Federal Trade Commission.

Kmart Renews Credit Agreement

TROY, Mich. -- Kmart Corp. here said last week it has signed an agreement for the renewal of its unsecured 364-day credit facility for the amount of $400 million. The administrative agent is JP Morgan Chase Bank and the co-syndication agents are The Bank of New York, Credit Suisse First Boston and Fleet National Bank. The facility is scheduled to fund concurrent with the expiration of the current facility before Dec. 2.

GMA: WTO TALKS May Lower Food Tax

WASHINGTON -- Grocery Manufacturers of America here said last week successful World Trade Organization negotiations could result in lower tariffs on food items. Manly Molpus, GMA president and chief executive officer, said, "Tariffs on agricultural products and processed foods around the world are the equivalent of a global tax on food. This announcement is the first step in slashing unfair, punitive and protectionist taxes on food products." Molpus added that Congress must first pass the Trade Promotion Authority bill to pave the way for lowered tariffs.

Schnucks Honored By UFCW

ST. LOUIS -- Schnuck Markets here was named "Company of the Year" by the United Food and Commercial Workers union last month at the union's annual Minority Coalition Ball in Washington. The union said it chose Schnucks because of the company's efforts in providing a good working environment for its employees, as well as the company's involvement in the community. Schnucks is the second supermarket to receive the award; the first was Jewel/Osco, Chicago, a division of Albertson's, Boise, Idaho.

Harry's In A Hurry Changes Stock Symbol

ROSWELL, Ga. -- Hurry Inc. (formerly Harry's Farmers Markets) here, which operates Harry's In A Hurry convenience stores, has changed its stock symbol on the Nasdaq over-the-counter board from HARY to HURY. The change became effective last week. The company operates four stores in the Atlanta market.

Trader Joe's Says No To Ge Ingredients

MONROVIA, Calif. -- Trader Joe's Co. here said last week it will attempt to eliminate genetically engineered ingredients from its existing private-label food lines within a year and to work with new vendors to make products without such ingredients. The company also said it plans to develop a random testing program to verify ongoing compliance by its vendors. The specialty grocery chain said it made the decision to eliminate genetically engineered ingredients after talking with customers and reviewing the food production methods of its vendors. "If given the opportunity, the majority of our customers would prefer to have products made without genetically engineered ingredients," the company said.