Ahold, Delhaize offer to sell some Belgian stores for merger approval

The Delhaize logo is seen on a sign in Brussels, Belgium, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Retailers Ahold AHLN.AS and Delhaize DELB.BR said on Monday they had proposed to sell a relatively small number of stores in Belgium in a bid to win regulatory approval from the country's competition authority for their merger.

The companies said in an emailed statement that the proposed divestments would include both Ahold-owned stores and Delhaize-branded outlets.

Belgian media reported that eight of Ahold’s Albert Heijn markets and five Delhaize franchise stores are up for sale, but the companies would not confirm that.

There are 880 Delhaize supermarkets and around 50 Albert Heijn stores in Belgium.

The Belgian Competition Authority could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ahold announced plans to buy Delhaize in June in a deal that would create a company with around 54 billion euros ($60 billion) in annual sales, most of it in the United States.

($1 = 0.9074 euros)

Reporting by Toby Sterling and Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Mark Potter and Louise Heavens