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Ahold 'Poised to React' on Acquisitions

PHILADELPHIA — Ahold, which this week invited financial analysts here in part to show off the fruits of some of its recent acquisitions, said Thursday the retailer was "poised to react" if and when more such assets become available.

Carl Schlicker, president of Ahold USA, in a press meeting here said Ahold has studied its competition to be prepared for the possibility it could obtain stores that could become available as a result of Supervalu's ongoing strategic review.

Read more: Ahold Ramps Up Online Investments

"While we can't predict the future, one of the things we have always tried to do is prepare to react," he said. "If there were stores that would become available, certainly we'd earmark the ones we'd have the greatest interest in. That number could be more or less significant than the acquisitions we'd done in the past."

Ahold in recent years has made a number of small acquisitions that have bolstered shares of its Stop & Shop and Giant banners, most recently buying 15 former Genuardis stores from Safeway. That deal helped Giant fill in what Schlicker called "white spaces" in its market areas and provided choice locations, including a Wynnewood, Pa., store on Philadelphia's Main Line that was visited by international journalists and analysts this week.

"We are prepared to react to the competitive market as it changes. Whether that will change more or less in 2013 depends more on our competitors than ourselves," Schlicker added. "But we're poised to react in a positive way if those opportunities present themselves."

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