ICA sells 14 distribution centers to London & Regional Properties and GE Real Estate

Stockholm, SWEDEN


STOCKHOLM, Sweden, July 16, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- ICA Handlarnas AB is selling 14 distribution centres to a consortium comprising London & Regional Properties, Skandinavien (L&R) and GE Real Estate, Norden (GE) through its subsidiary ICA Fastighets AB. At the same time ICA and the consortium, with L&R and GE, have entered into lease agreements that extend to between five and fifteen years and with an average duration of eleven years.

The deal comprises a total area of around 500,000 m2 with an underlying property value of around SEK 2.5 billion.

"We are selling our distribution centres to release capital that we will invest in new ventures," said Group President of ICA Ahold AB.

"This deal is fully in line with our business strategy. It is the third largest investment in a short time that we are making in Sweden where the vendor remains as a major tenant and we are very pleased for the confidence shown," said Thomas Lindeborg, CEO of London & Regional Properties in Scandinavia.

"This agreement with ICA again demonstrates how well our skills and our resources in corporate outsourcing are appropriate for expansive operations with high demands on effectiveness. We look forward to a profitable relationship with ICA," said Lennart Sten, CEO of GE Real Estate in the Nordic area.

The 14 distribution centres are located in the following places:

Arlov, Helsingborg, Vaxjo, Kungalv, Partille, Linkoping, Vasteras, Karlstad, Arsta, Kallhall, Borlange, Umea and Sundsvall.

ICA's distribution activities in the respective locations are not affected by the sale of the properties but continue instead with ICA as a tenant.

DTZ Sweden has acted as ICA's advisor on the sale.

For further information please contact:

Bo Liffner, CEO, ICA Fastighets AB, mobile 004670-510 40 55 Lennart Sten, MD, GE Real Estate, Nordic area, Tel 00468-566 122 00, mobile 004670 697 8170 Thomas Lindeborg, MD, London & Regional Properties, Scandinavia, Tel 00468-508 939 40, mobile 004670 624 8503

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Brief facts:

The ICA group

The ICA group (ICA Ahold AB) is the Nordic area's largest retail group with approximately 40,000 employees and 3,000 shops in Scandinavia and the Baltic region. Together with Statoil, ICA Ahold also owns and operates 1,300 Statoil stations in Scandinavia. 30% of ICA Ahold is owned by ICA Forbundet Invest AB, 30% by the Norwegian company Canica AS and 50% by the Dutch company Royal Ahold N.V. The ICA group is part of a world-wide retail network through Royal Ahold.

More information is available at www.ica.se

GE Real Estate

GE Real Estate is a business unit within GE with its head office in Stamford, Connecticut, USA. GE Real Estate provides financing of properties through different products and services on the share, finance and capital markets. The company is one of the leading players within property financing with assets in excess of SEK 240 billion (USD 30 billion) distributed over different types of product.

GE Real Estate has been active world-wide for more than 30 years. In Europe there are regional offices in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Sweden. GE Real Estate has invested just under SEK 50 billion (USD 5.8 billion) in European properties corresponding to a property value of just under SEK 90 billion (USD 10.7 billion). GE Real Estate has complete property transactions in the Nordic areas with an underlying property value of approximately SEK 15 billion.

Go to www.gerealestate.com/se for more information.

GE is a world-wide company with operations in more than 100 countries within 13 areas of activity and with a turnover corresponding to around SEK1,100 billion (USD 132 billion). Its product range spans from refrigerators to aircraft engines, and from medical technology to financial solutions. All areas of activity are represented in the Nordic area. The number of employees in the Nordic area is around 2,600.

Go to www.ge.com for more information.

London & Regional Properties

London & Regional Properties (L&R) is one of the United Kingdom's largest privately-owned property companies. The company has its headquarters in London and owns properties with an underlying market value in excess of SEK 50 billion. The company opened its first office outside the United Kingdom in the summer of 2002. This is located in Stockholm. The Stockholm office will be responsible for L&R's expansion in Scandinavia and northern Europe. L&R is active primarily in four business areas; long-term property investment and management, sale and leaseback (corporate outsourcing), property development and hotel property ownership.

Go to www.lrp.se for more information.

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