ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Ahold here said last week it has filed a shelf offering of up to $1.25 billion in debt securities and common stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission -- a move some observers believe is a preliminary step to making another major U.S. acquisition. ng means a purchase is imminent. "We have already taken Step A. This way, things will go quicker if we decide to take Steps B and C," he said. "Any strong growth company makes such provisions. [Shelf offerings are] ...

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