| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 23 Belgian grocer Delhaize
is looking to sell two of its U.S. businesses as it
continues to cut costs in the region, according to two sources
familiar with the matter.
The Food Lion parent has hired Lazard Ltd to sell
its Harveys and Sweetbay supermarket businesses, the sources
Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Olivier Beckers said the
company was looking at options for the units, but declined to
comment directly on whether advisors had been appointed to
conduct the sale.
"This is a question on the table at the moment," he told
Reuters on the sidelines of the company's annual shareholders
Lazard could not be reached immediately for comment.
Delhaize made about 65 percent of its 2012 revenue of 22.7
billion euros ($29.7 billion) in the United States, mainly
through its Food Lion and Hannaford chains.
Harveys, which operates 73 supermarkets in Georgia, South
Carolina and Florida, focuses on selling regional and fresh
Sweetbay, which had 105 stores in Florida at the end of
2012, caters to the Hispanic market.
In January, Delhaize said it would close 34 Sweetbay stores,
most of them money-losing.
Beckers, who joined the company as CEO in 1999, announced
in early May that he was stepping down.
Delhaize and other traditional grocery chains have come
under pressure recently, with discounters like Costco Wholesale
Corp and mass retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc
gaining footing as shoppers' budgets have dwindled.