Ahold keeps royal status after scandal

25th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

25 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — Dutch supermarket concern Ahold is to keep its 'koninklijk' (royal) title despite the accounting scandal in 2003.

25 July 2006

AMSTERDAM — Dutch supermarket concern Ahold is to keep its 'koninklijk' (royal) title despite the accounting scandal in 2003.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands decided to allow the company to keep the royal status following advice from the Minister of Economic Affairs Joop Wijn.

"It has become apparent that the company has undertaken sufficient measures to prevent repetition of the accounting irregularities and to restore its reputation," the government information service said in a statement.

Wijn based his advice on Ahold's account of the reforms and on reports from the Finance and Justice Ministry and the Association of Dutch Stockholders. "Based on this advice, he reached the conclusion that there were no grounds for withdrawing Ahold's royal designation," the statement said.

The right to bear a royal designation can be withdrawn if the duly authorised party has tarnished its reputation.

Ahold was rocked in early 2003 by a multi-million fraud at the chain's American subsidiary U.S. Foodservice and accounting irregularities in the head office. The company was forced to restate its earnings for 2001 and 2002, and sell off businesses in several countries.

Former CEO Cees van der Hoeven and former CFO Michiel Meurs received suspended sentences in May this year for their roles in the accounting scandal. They continue to deny any wrongdoing, and it is accepted they did not profit from the irregularities.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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