Dutch grocer Ahold, which owns Peapod and several U.S. supermarket chains, and Belgian rival Delhaize, which owns Food Lion in the U.S., are exploring a merger, a source familiar with the matter said, sending their shares soaring, though analysts were split over the merits of any deal, according to Reuters.
"They're sniffing around, exploring the options, but it's very early days," the source said on Monday, following weekend press reports about a link-up that could create a 25-billion-euro ($28 billion) business with a focus on the U.S..
Both companies declined to comment.
Delhaize's shares leapt as much as 19 percent, while those of Ahold jumped by up to 15 percent.
Press reports of a possible merger between Ahold and Delhaize surfaced in 2006, but the two were very different then, with Ahold recovering from an accounting scandal at its U.S. food service operations which had battered its shares.
To read more, click HERE.