Ahold to Buy Online Retailer Bol.com for 350 Million Euros

Royal Ahold NV, the Dutch owner of Stop & Shop stores, plans to acquire online retailer Bol.com for 350 million euros ($470 million) to boost Internet sales.

Bol.com, with 3.4 million active customers and net sales of 355 million euros last year, is being bought from NPM Capital NV and Cyrte Investments, Amsterdam-based Ahold said today in a statement. The online retailer offers products including books, entertainment, electronics and toys.

The acquisition brings “the platform, scale and expertise we need to accelerate our growth in online retailing,” Chief Executive Officer Dick Boer said in the statement.

Boer, who took the helm in March last year, wants to triple online sales to 1.5 billion euros in the coming years, and to expand the retailer’s geographic reach.

“This add-on deal makes it for us unlikely that Ahold will look at much larger targets for daily consumables such as Hema or Wehkamp,” said Patrick Roquas, a Utrecht-based analyst at Rabobank Securities, who has a “buy” recommendation on Ahold.

Ahold’s Giant Food Stores agreed to acquire 16 Genuardi’s stores from Safeway Inc. for $106 million in January to expand in the greater Philadelphia area.

The stock increased 0.1 percent at 10.32 euros in Amsterdam trading, bringing Ahold’s market value to 11.36 billion euros.

“Bol.com has a proven track record of delivering double-digit sales growth and attractive returns,” Ahold said.

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