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Dealwatch: A&O and Linklaters sweep roles on €25bn supermarket merger alongside US trio

The €25bn merger between international food retailers Delhaize Group and Royal Ahold has seen Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters win roles advising the two sides alongside Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Sullivan & Cromwell.

A&O is advising Ahold on its cross-border merger that will create a 6,500-store retailer, with Amsterdam-based partner Tim Stevens and Belgian partner Dirk Meeus leading. A&O’s Dutch team included antitrust partner Paul Glazener, employment partner Ferdinand Grapperhaus and tax partner Godfried Kinnegim, while corporate partner Hans Kets, tax partner Patrick Smet and employment partner Christian Bayart provided support from Belgium.

Meanwhile, Simpson Thacher picked up the US mandate for Netherlands-based Ahold, with a team including New York-based M&A partner Alan Klein and antitrust partner Kevin Arquit. Sullivan & Cromwell represented Ahold’s financial adviser Goldman Sachs, with a team led by New York-based corporate partner Stephen Kotran.

Linklaters represented the European side of the deal for Belgian retailer Delhaize with Brussels-based corporate partner Eric Pottier leading. He was supported by tax partner Henk Vanhulle and antitrust partner Bernd Meyring, both also based in Brussels, while corporate partner Pieter Riemer acted on the deal from Amsterdam. Cravath advised in New York with a team led by corporate partners Richard Hall and Jonathan Davis, and support from finance partner Craig Arcella, tax partner Christopher Fargo and antitrust partners Christine Varney and Julie North.

The combined group will serve an estimated 50 million customers per week across the US and Europe and have €54bn in annual sales.