Moberg: Ahold to Buy Back $4 Billion in Shares

The sale of U.S. Foodservice will allow Ahold to return around $4 billion to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks, Anders Moberg, Ahold’s chief executive officer, said at the retailer’s annual meeting here Thursday.

AMSTERDAM — The sale of U.S. Foodservice will allow Ahold to return around $4 billion to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks, Anders Moberg, Ahold’s chief executive officer, said at the retailer’s annual meeting here Thursday. Ahold earlier this week announced a deal to sell USF to a consortium of private equity firms for $7.1 billion. Moberg in his remarks Thursday also said proceeds of the deal, if approved, would allow the company to further reduce debt. “There were many who wanted us to sell U.S. Foodservice in 2003,” Moberg said. “I said then it would be a mistake at that time and would destroy shareholder value. Instead we focused on rebuilding the U.S. Foodservice business and culture. I am extremely pleased with the agreed price, which was higher than many in the market had predicted.”