Delhaize "Le Lion" ("Delhaize Group" - Euronext Brussels: DELB) announced today that its Board of Directors will propose to Delhaize Group shareholders the election on May 23, 2001 of three independent members of the Board for a period of three years. The Board of Directors of Delhaize Group, with the approval of the special committee of independent board members of Delhaize America formed in connection with the proposed share exchange between Delhaize Group and Delhaize America, is unanimously proposing for election Robert J. Murray, William G. Ferguson, and Richard Goblet d'Alviella.
Robert J. Murray (59) has been Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of New England Business Service, Inc. since 1995. Mr. Murray has been a director of New England Business Service, Inc. since 1991. From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Murray was a member of the Board of Directors of Hannaford Bros. Co. Mr. Murray retired from The Gillette Company in 1995, having been with Gillette for more than 34 years. From 1991 until his retirement in 1995, Mr. Murray was Executive Vice President, North Atlantic Group of Gillette. Mr. Murray is a director of LoJack Corporation and Allmerica Financial Corporation. Mr. Murray is a graduate of Boston College and holds a Master's degree in business administration from Northeastern University.
William G. Ferguson (73) has been a member of the Board of Directors of Delhaize America since 1993. Mr. Ferguson is a member of the Delhaize America Audit and Stock Option Committees and is Chairperson of the Delhaize America Senior Management Compensation Committee. Mr. Ferguson has been a director of Snow Aviation International, Inc. since 1988 and the Executive Vice President since 1989. Mr. Ferguson was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TTI Systems, Inc. from 1977 through the sale of TTI Systems, Inc. to Transco Energy Company in 1986 and until he retired from Transco in 1989. From 1988 to 1997, Mr. Ferguson was Director of Jamestown Foundation, Washington D.C. Mr. Ferguson also served as President of Ashland Chemical Co., a division of Ashland Oil from 1969-1972. Mr. Ferguson holds a Bachelor's degree in biological sciences and chemistry from Washington University, St. Louis.
Richard Goblet d'Alviella (52) has been Chief Executive Officer of Sofina S.A., a Belgian financial holding company, since 1989. Mr. Goblet d' Alviella is a member of the Board of Directors of Sofina as well as a number of the companies in which Sofina has ownership interests or is affiliated, such as Tractebel, Azeo, Danone Asia, Societe Europeenne des Satellites and ADSB Communications (the holding company of Belgacom). Prior to joining Sofina, Mr. Goblet d'Alviella was a Managing Director of the Paine Webber Group and he has a 15 year background in international investment banking in London and New York. Mr. Goblet d'Alviella holds a Commercial Engineer's degree from Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, and a Master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.
As previously announced, Bill McCanless, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize America, and Hugh Farrington, Vice Chairman of Delhaize America and Chief Executive Officer of Hannaford Bros. Co. will also be proposed for Delhaize Group board positions at the same time as the independent nominees.
About Delhaize Group
Delhaize Group is a food retailer headquartered in Belgium and listed on Euronext Brussels. At the end of 2000, Delhaize Group's sales network consisted of 2,310 stores in 10 countries on three continents. In 2000, Delhaize Group achieved sales of EUR 18.2 billion and net earnings of EUR 160.7 million. Delhaize Group employs approximately 152,000 persons. For more information, visit the Delhaize Group web site at http://www.delhaizegroup.com/.
Information For Investors
Investors are urged to read the relevant documents that were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Delhaize Group and Delhaize America in connection with the share exchange. These documents will contain important information, including the identities of the participants in any solicitation of proxies or consents from Delhaize America shareholders and a description of such participants' interests in any such solicitation. Free copies of the documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission will be available at either Delhaize Group headquarters in Brussels or Delhaize America headquarters in Salisbury, North Carolina.
This press release is not an offer or the solicitation of an offer to acquire any securities of Delhaize Group and no such offer or solicitation will be made except in compliance with applicable securities laws.
Certain statements contained in this press release and related statements by management may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. These forward- looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including those described in Delhaize Group's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Delhaize Group undertakes no obligation to update this forward- looking information except as required by law.
Guy Elewaut, +32 0 2 412 29 48, or Geoffroy d'Oultremont,
+32 0 2 412 83 21, both of Delhaize Group