Corporate Governance at Ahold|Corporate Governance|Case Study|Case Studies

Corporate Governance at Ahold

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Case Details:

Case Code : CGOV005
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 2000 - 2005
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Ahold NV
Industry : Retail
Countries : Holland, USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Ahold's Acquisitions

Albert Heijn made its first acquisition in 1951 when it acquired the Netherlands-based Van Amerongen store chain. In 1977, Ahold entered the US market by acquiring the BI-LO supermarket chain (which had stores in Georgia, North & South Carolina). This was followed by the acquisition of Giant food stores (based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania) in 1981 and Finast (based in Ohio) in 1988. With these acquisitions, Ahold strengthened its position in the US. The 1990s was a period of rapid expansion. In 1991, Ahold opened a wholly-owned supermarket chain called Mana in the Czech Republic (later renamed Albert). In 1992, Ahold entered into a joint venture with the Portuguese chain Jerónimo Martins to form Jerónimo Martins Retail (JMR)...

Corporate Governance | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Corporate Governance, Case Studies

The Scandals

On February 24, 2003, Ahold announced that its earnings for 2002 financial year would not be as high as previously estimated. It also declared that its 2000 and 2001 financial statements did not reflect its true financial status and would have to be restated...

US Foodservice

US Foodservice was a service company which distributed food. Its clientele included hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, health care facilities, schools, etc. The company was headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, and had more than 100 distribution centers spread across the US. The Ahold group acquired US Foodservice in 2000. US Foodservice came to become the epicenter of the scandal that shook Ahold. The scandal involved US Foodservice executives colluding with employees at Sara Lee Corporation (Sara Lee), ConAgra and some other companies to mislead auditors...

Other Operating Companies

In February 2003, almost simultaneously with the US Foodservice scandal, Ahold announced that four joint ventures namely - ICA, Jeronimo Martins Retail, Bompreco (sold in March 2004), Disco (sold in March 2004) and Paiz Ahold (sold earlier) should not have been fully consolidated in its accounts.

The Ahold group did not hold a 100% stake in the joint ventures and its consolidation of 100% of the joint ventures' profits in its accounts was tantamount to fraud. Investor associations felt that Ahold and its auditors D&T were aware or irresponsibly ignored the fact that Ahold never had a basis for consolidating the financial results of the joint ventures...

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