Delhaize to merge with Albert Heijn parent?

The leading Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize has confirmed that it is in merger talks with the Dutch holding Ahold, the parent company of Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn.

Rumour of a possible merger surfaced last week after the company's share soared in Brussels. Analysts believe the two companies possess interesting synergies.

Both chains could join forces in the US: both companies are active on the East Coast, but there is little overlapping. The Dutch could help Delhaize to become market leader in Belgium and provide greater know how for online sales.

Delhaize shot up over 17% in Brussels at one time yesterday following a significant fall in recent days. Ahold too performed well in Amsterdam.