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Dow Jones reports that Royal Ahold NV is close to finalizing the sale of its Chilean operation, Santa Isabel, to the locally owned Cencosud SA.

The estimated cost of the company: $150 million (US).

The sale is part of Ahold's announced retreat from Latin America, as it struggles to resolve a severe debt problem and legal issues related to more than $1 billion (US) in overstated profits.

Ahold is still looking for buyers of Santa Isabel units in Paraguay and Peru, as well as for other Latin American operations.
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