FTC Receives Petition from Koninklijke Ahold N.V. and Brunos Supermarkets to Reopen and Modify Decision and Order

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Commission receipt of petition to reopen and modify decision and order: The Commission has received a petition from Bruno’s Supermarkets to reopen and modify the final FTC decision and order in the matter of Koninklijke Ahold N.V. (Ahold) and Bruno’s Supermarkets, Inc. (Bruno’s), Docket No. C-4027. As detailed in the petition, a copy of which can be found on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release, Bruno’s has requested that the Commission reopen and terminate the order, dated January 16, 2002, as it applies to Bruno’s, BI-LO, LLC and their ultimate parent entity, Lone Star Fund V (U.S.), L.P. (Lone Star).

Under the order, Ahold, a global food service distributor and retailer headquartered in the Netherlands, was permitted to acquire all of the outstanding voting stock of Bruno’s, a large supermarket chain in the southeastern United States, provided that it met certain conditions. Specifically, among other things, the order required Ahold to divest two BI-LO supermarkets, located in Milledgeville and Sandersville, Georgia, to Kroger and Winn-Dixie, respectively. Under the order, among other things, for 10 years from the date the order became final, Ahold also had to notify the Commission before acquiring any supermarkets (or supermarket interests) in Baldwin and Washington counties, Georgia.

On July 21, 2006, the Commission reopened and modified the FTC order in this matter in response to Ahold’s petition requesting the Commission to reopen and set aside the order insofar as it applied to Ahold. The Commission set aside the order as to Ahold based on Ahold's showing that it had sold all of its interests in BI-LO Holdings, LLC to Lone Star U.S. Acquisitions on January 31, 2005. Included within BI-LO Holdings was Bruno’s, the remaining respondent under the order. As a result of the sale to Lone Star, Ahold no longer owned or operated supermarkets in Baldwin and Washington Counties, Georgia.

Subsequently, Bruno’s sold some of its supermarkets, including the two stores in Baldwin and Washington Counties, Georgia to C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. and thus no longer owns or operates supermarkets in those counties. Consequently, Bruno’s (and Lone Star) have requested that the Commission vacate the order as it relates to Bruno’s.

The Commission is accepting public comments on Bruno’s petition for 30 days, beginning today and ending on May 10, 2007. Comments should be sent to: FTC, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. (FTC File No. 011-0247, Docket No. C-4027; the staff contact is Elizabeth A. Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623; see press release dated December 7, 2001; April 18, 2006; and July 25, 2006)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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