Ahold to Acquire Online Retailer bol.com

Ahold and bol.com announced that Ahold is acquiring bol.com for €350 million. This is an important next step in Ahold’s growth strategy, which focuses on growing sales by increasing customer loyalty, broadening its offering and expanding geographic reach. Bol.com’s ambition will get an extra boost from being part of a strong international retailing group.

Bol.com is the most visited retail website in the Netherlands serving 3.4 million active customers, with total net sales of €355 million in 2011. It offers a broad range of products in various non-food categories including books, entertainment, electronics and toys. Almost half of all Dutch customers who purchased products online shopped at bol.com in 2011, buying more than 17 million products.

Daniel Ropers, Managing Director of bol.com, sees many advantages for the customer following today’s announcement. “Our ambition is to provide the best retail offering to every customer in the Netherlands and Belgium. From the very beginning, we have worked hard to improve our offering every day, and we’re still bursting with ideas to make our store even better and more inspiring. I am very enthusiastic about combining our online proposition with Ahold’s to create additional benefits for our customers, while maintaining our distinct bol.com identity and style. We are grateful for the support of Cyrte Investments and NPM Capital in recent years.”

Dick Boer, Ahold CEO, said: “We welcome bol.com to our family of strong retail brands. bol.com provides us with the platform, scale and expertise we need to accelerate our growth in online retailing. Its capabilities and operations in non-food categories will broaden our assortment and increase our online presence, adding to the existing online food offering through albert.nl. Together, we will be able to offer customers more choice, greater convenience and better value.”

Boer also said: “This step is about creating growth. Bol.com is one of the best online businesses in Europe today, which is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit, vision and skills of its management and staff. We will invest in bol.com and its strong brand in order to enable it to further expand and enhance its leading online position.”

Bol.com will become the fifth retail brand for Ahold in the Netherlands, alongside Albert Heijn, Etos, Gall & Gall and albert.nl. The current management team will continue to lead bol.com, which will remain located in Utrecht.

Ahold will acquire 100 percent of bol.com from Cyrte Investments and NPM Capital for a transaction value of €350 million, fully paid in cash. Bol.com has a proven track record of delivering double-digit sales growth and attractive returns, and has a strong growth proposition for the Netherlands and Belgium.

The transaction is expected to be accretive for earnings per share from day one. The acquisition is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.

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