A Stop & Shop store in Gardner, Mass., is apparently slated for divestiture as part of the Ahold-Delhaize deal, according to the union representing workers at the store.
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 president Jeff Bollen in a message to workers posted on a social media site said he was informed that the store would be sold by an official of Ahold. Bollen said it was not clear whether a buyer had been selected.
Neither Stop & Shop parent Ahold, nor Delhaize, parent of the Food Lion and Hannaford chains, has commented publicly on any competitive rulings related to the merger. A spokeswoman for the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said the agency as a matter of policy does not confirm or deny that it investigates mergers unless or until it files a complaint, which it had not done as of Thursday.
Sources, however, expect some divestitures will be necessary to receive federal approval, particularly in areas like Massachusetts where Stop & Shop and Hannaford banners overlap, and in areas where Ahold's Giant or Martin's brands compete with Delhaize's Food Lion banner in the Mid-Atlantic states. Delhaize and Ahold are on track to complete their merger later this year. FTC approval is one of the final steps.
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