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Supermarket operators Ahold and Delhaize agree to merge

Merged firm will have 54.1b euros in sales, and more than 6,500 stores worldwide

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The merger is expected to result in an annual gain of 500 million euros in synergies, though Delhaize CEO declined to explain how the synergies would be achieved. Analysts expect supply chain integration and cost savings from eliminating overlapping US distribution centres.

Amsterdam

DUTCH-BASED supermarket operator Ahold has reached a deal to buy Belgian peer Delhaize, the companies announced on Wednesday, in a move that will create the sixth-largest food retailer in the United States and the biggest in Europe's Benelux region.

In a joint statement,

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