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NYC-based online grocer FreshDirect to be acquired by Ahold, Centerbridge

11/18/2020 | 06:58pm EST

NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The online grocer FreshDirect agreed on Wednesday to be acquired by the supermarket operator Ahold Delhaize NV and private equity firm Centerbridge Partners LLC, as the coronavirus pandemic and growing acceptance of e-commerce prompt more consumers to buy groceries online.

Ahold will take a majority stake and Centerbridge will own 20% of FreshDirect, which will keep its name and operate independently. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and a closing is expected in the first quarter of 2021.

Based in the Bronx, New York City, and known for its green-and-orange trucks, FreshDirect specializes in fresh food, which it says represents more than 60% of sales.

The privately-held company was founded in 2002 and operates in seven U.S. states, including the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and Washington, D.C.

Ahold is based in the Netherlands and has several U.S. brands, including Stop & Shop, Food Lion, Giant Food and Hannaford.

A recent study by e-commerce specialist Mercatus and the research firm Incisiv said online purchases should account for 10.2% of this year's $1.04 trillion U.S. grocery market, triple the percentage in 2019.

The study also said online purchases may command 21.5% of a total $1.16 trillion grocery market in 2025, close to 60% above pre-pandemic estimates.

Larger retailers, including Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc, are also increasing online sales of essentials such as food.

Goldman Sachs and the law firm Latham & Watkins advised FreshDirect on the transaction. Bank of America and the law firm Kirkland & Ellis advised Ahold, and the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson advised Centerbridge.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AHOLD DELHAIZE N.V. 1.51% 24.86 Real-time Quote.7.57%
AMAZON.COM, INC. -0.74% 3104.25 Delayed Quote.-4.69%
BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION -2.88% 33.01 Delayed Quote.12.14%
THE GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP, INC. -2.23% 301.01 Delayed Quote.14.14%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 380 B - -
Net income 2020 18 142 M - -
Net cash 2020 44 304 M - -
P/E ratio 2020 89,2x
Yield 2020 -
Capitalization 1 558 B 1 558 B -
EV / Sales 2020 3,98x
EV / Sales 2021 3,32x
Nbr of Employees 798 000
Free-Float 81,7%
Duration : Period :
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 52
Average target price 3 830,67 $
Last Close Price 3 104,25 $
Spread / Highest target 45,0%
Spread / Average Target 23,4%
Spread / Lowest Target 12,7%
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Managers and Directors
Jeffrey P. Bezos Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Dave Clark Senior Vice President-Worldwide Operations
Brian T. Olsavsky Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Patricia Q. Stonesifer Independent Director
Thomas O. Ryder Independent Director
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