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Ica stake bought out by Swedish investors

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Ica stake bought out by Swedish investors
08:47 CET+01:00
Swedish investment company Hakon Invest announced on Monday that it would buy the remaining 60 percent stake of supermarket chain Ica for 20 billion kronor ($3.1 billion) from Dutch retailer Royal Ahold.

Hakon Invest, which already owned 40 percent of the grocer's shares, announced the purchase on Monday morning, adding that it would be renaming itself Ica Gruppen.

Ahold "has reached an agreement with Hakon Invest regarding the sale of Ahold's 60 percent holding in Ica, the Scandinavian retailer, for 21.2 billion kronor," the company said in a statement.

The deal included Ica's 2012 dividend of 1.2 billion kronor.

In conjunction with the announcement of the deal, Ica also released its quarterly results, reporting profit of 812 million kronor before tax for the fourth quarter of last year - compared to 853 million kronor in the corresponding period from 2011.

Anders Nyrén, CEO of Industrivärden, praised the move by Hakon Invest.

"Ica is a very strong brand, and the company has shown good volume growth and rising margins over a number of years," he said in a statement.

The deal is contingent upon regulatory approval and is predicted to be completed in April this year.

Hakon Invest has owned part of Ica since 2000, when it bought its share in the company together with Royal Ahold.

Ica was founded in Sweden in 1938 and is now among the biggest retail chains in the Nordic region. There are around 1,500 stores in Sweden alone.

TT/The Local/og

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