CHANTILLY, Va. -- During 25 years of operating in the United States, Ahold became known as a determined consolidator with seemingly unlimited capital for acquisitions. But 2002 marked a major turning point for the Netherlands-based company, whose U.S. operations based here include more than 1,600 retail stores, a food-service division and e-commerce operations. In the midst of one of the toughest operating environments in decades, Ahold was forced to refrain from major new U.S. retail deals ...

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