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Belgian retailer Delhaize says to shed 155 US stores

Belgian international food retailer Delhaize said on Tuesday it was selling 155 of its stores in the United States as it seeks to consolidate its business.

The deal, worth $265 million (206 million euros) will see Delhaize divest 155 shops to Bi-Lo Holdings, which will also acquire the leases for 10 previously owned locations.

The 165 stores in question generated sales last year of approximately $1.8 billion, Delhaize said in a statement.

“We believe this transaction represents a significant move towards simplifying our business,” said Delhaize’s chief executive Pierre-Olivier Beckers.

“This transaction will further increase the financial flexibility required to execute our strategic priorities,” he added.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Delhaize, which has a presence in 10 countries worldwide and roughly 158,000 employees, posted sales of $29.0 billion in 2012, with a net profit of $134 million.