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Dutch retail group Royal Ahold has announced it is 'exploring strategic options' regarding its 60 per cent shareholding in Scandinavian retailer ICA, with a stock exchange floatation said to be among various options being considered as part of a stratgeic review.

Ahold, which last year presented a new plan for growth aimed at creating more value in the various businesses it owns, shares controlling interest in ICA with Hakon Invest of Sweden.

During the review, which is expected to take between 6 months and a year, Ahold will continue to work closely with Hakon to help ICA keep expanding, it said.

ICA operates Sweden's leading food retailer under the ICA banner, as well as ICA and Rimi stores in Norway, and Rimi stores in the Baltics.

ICA currently has 2,215 retailer-owned and company-operated retail food stores, posting sales of SKr95.18bn (€11.35bn) last year.