The board of Dutch retailer Ahold is divided over whether the group should spin off key parts of its operation, the Business reported on Sunday.
The British paper reported, quoting a source close to the firm, that Ahold was undergoing a strategy review, with the result expected with third quarter earnings in December, as it came under pressure from hedge funds to sell its U.S. activities.
The board is divided. Everything is on the table. It is not smooth sailing and it's going to take a little more time, the source was quoted as saying.
Ahold, the world's fourth biggest food retailing and foodservice group by sales, said it was not comment on market rumors.
Hedge funds Paulson & Co. and Centaurus Capital, which together own about 6.4 percent of Ahold, have urged it to sell its U.S. activities and concentrate on its more lucrative European business.
The company said last week that it was not in talks with the hedge funds or private equity firms eyeing a buyout.
(Additional reporting by Harro ten Wolde in Amsterdam))