By Ian Walker

 

Food retailers Delhaize Group (DELB.BT) and Koninklijke Ahold N.V. (AH.AE) said Tuesday they expect to complete their roughly $31 billion tie-up by the end of July, subject to U.S. Federal Trade Commission approval.

The companies announced their merger plan in June last year to create one of the largest grocery chains in the U.S. and Europe, with more than 6,500 stores and 375,000 employees. They hope that a combination will strengthen their buying clout and reduce costs as they grapple with competition from discounters and upscale chains on both continents.

The company's shareholders have approved the merger and the Belgian Competition Authority granted its conditional approval for the merger in March. FTC clearance is the final regulatory approval requirement for the merger to complete.

Separately, Netherlands-based Ahold said it expects its 1 billion euro ($1.11 billion) capital repayment and reverse stock split to take place after close of New York trading on July 15.

 

Maarten van Tartwijk contributed to this article

 

-Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com; @IanWalk40289749

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 12, 2016 02:36 ET (06:36 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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