The EU has approved a joint venture between Dansk Supermarked and the Swedish-Dutch Ica-Ahold chain for further developing the discount chains, Netto and Bilka, in Sweden and Norway.
The first joint stores are expected to open in Sweden.
The Dansk Supermarked Group, which accounts for approximately one third of Danish retail sales, operates around 800 stores in Denmark, Germany, UK and Poland, primarily Netto, Føtex and Bilka stores.
Ica-Ahold is Sweden’s largest retail chain. In Denmark, the company has close ties to the ISO chain, which has stores in Hillerød and Copenhagen. ISO, however, has ambitions to expand nationwide.
Ica-Ahold in Sweden is 50% owned by the Dutch Ahold group whose 8,600 stores in 25 countries and a turnover in 2000 of more than DKK 350 billion makes it one of the world’s largest retail chains.
Until the Co-op Norden merger between the co-ops of Denmark, Norway and Sweden takes effect at the end of this year, the Ahold group is Arla Foods’ largest single customer.