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Market Update

Europe Movers: Ahold Sells 60% Stake in ICA to Hakon, Novo Nordisk Drops 12%

Author: Barry Randall
Last Update: 10:27 AM ET February 11 2013

Royal Ahold NV increased 45 cents to 11.03 euros after the Dutch retailer agreed to sell its 60% stake in the Swedish retailer ICA for 20 billion kronor or $3.1 billion to Hakon Invest AB.

With the sale, the operator of Albert Heijn stores in the Netherlands and Stop & Shop in the U.S. will end its acquisitions strategy in the last two decades that failed to produce synergy.

Ahold is likely to book tax-free capital gain of about 900 million euros. Ahold held the stake in the Swedish retailer ICA since 2000. The franchise owners of ICA controlled the 50% stake in the company and Ahold held the other half of voting rights.

ICA generated 96.9 billion kronor in 2012 and operates retail stores with brand name Rimi in Norway and the Baltic region.

Hakon said it plans to purchase the stake with cash and short term debt and repay it with the issue of 5 billion kronor of shares. Hakon plans to rename to ICA Gruppen after the deal is completed.

Hakon increased 15.8% to 155.40 kronor.

Novo Nordisk dropped 12% to 940 kroner after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requested more tests and data for its insulin Tresiba. The new requests could delay the drug for several years.

Sanofi SA, the competitor of Novo Nordisk and the maker of Lantus insulin increased 4.4% to 72.05 euros.

Lundin Petroleum declined 14 kronor after the oil explorer said its share in production agreement of the Johan Sverdrup will be near the low end of the range between 800 million and 1.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA, the other part owner of the oil field discovery declined 4% to 82.30 kroner.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc