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Delhaize to sell pet food business

Delhaize Group said Monday that it has agreed to sell its Belgium-based pet food retail chain, Tom&Co, to an investment group led by Lionel Desclée, who currently oversees the chain as part of Delhaize's management team.

Tom&Co operates 144 specialty pet food stores in Belgium, France and Luxembourg, most operated by franchisees.

"Delhaize has the ambition to become the favourite supermarket of the Belgians again and wishes to focus more than ever on the sale of healthy and high quality food. The management and further development of a pet specialist shop is therefore no longer considered a priority," the company said in a statement. "Nevertheless Tom&Co remains an ambitious and financially sound business with a lot of potential."

Desclée is currently SVP of Delhaize Belgium and responsible for independent stores and retail activities. Desclée will leave Delhaize when the deal is complete, expected in the third quarter.

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