Important Information Concerning Statements Made by the VEB Regarding Claims Submitted in the Ahold Class Action Settlement

New York (ots/PRNewswire) - Lead Plaintiffs' Counsel (Entwistle & Cappucci LLP) and the Claims Administrator (The Garden City Group) appointed by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issue this informational release to clarify certain incorrect statements made by the VEB concerning claims submitted to participate in the settlement of the class action against Royal Ahold N.V. ("Ahold") in the United States.

Contrary to the VEB's recent statements to the media, claimants in the Ahold class action in the Netherlands and all over the world are provided more than one opportunity to correct deficiencies in the documentation that they have submitted to participate in the Ahold settlement. The First Deficiency Notice, which approximately 16% of Dutch claimants received, is the first opportunity that such claimants have to correct the identified problems. Most of the noted deficiencies involve forms that do not include all of the information needed to substantiate the purchases and sales of Ahold common stock noted on the claimant's form. The Claims Administrator has requested that claimants receiving the First Deficiency Notice submit a response by 8 January 2007. Claimants who do not respond by that date will receive a second opportunity to correct the information submitted with their claim forms, but all claimants are encouraged to correct noted deficiencies as soon as possible to ensure payment.

Claimants must understand that the procedure for addressing and correcting deficiencies is designed to accomplish the important goals of: (i) making sure that claimants with valid claims have an opportunity to demonstrate the validity of their claims; and (ii) preventing the submission of fraudulent claims. The process for addressing noted deficiencies proceeds according to a carefully planned schedule, which remains on track and no claims have been rejected or will be rejected until each claimant has at least two opportunities to correct or otherwise address any noted problems. Again, claimants are encouraged to act as quickly as possible to correct identified problems.

The majority of the identified deficiencies involve incomplete transaction information. Contrary to statements made by the VEB, these problems do not involve the format of the documents provided by claimants and/or their banks. Instead, these problems arise from incomplete documentation that does not enable the Claims Administrator to perform the arithmetic required to calculate the value of claims.

Despite the volume of statements made in the Dutch press, the VEB has no official role in the claims process. Instead, each claimant that has received a deficiency letter must communicate directly with the Claims Administrator to resolve their claims. Anyone that still has a deficient claim as of 8 January 2007 will receive a second letter explaining the remaining deficiency and providing an additional period of time for the claimant to resolve any remaining issues directly with the Claims Administrator. The Claims Administrator will continue to work directly with any bank (and all claimants) that have questions regarding documentation to solve their problems and to help ensure that all persons with valid claims are included in the Ahold settlement.

Claimants must understand that the VEB has never had any approved role in the United States Class Action against Ahold, and the VEB has no official role in the procedure for correcting deficient claims submitted in the settlement. The VEB is not authorized to speak to the Claims Administrator on behalf of any investor, and no claimant should contact the VEB expecting to resolve deficiencies or to address officially any other issue regarding the Ahold settlement. Instead, all claimants, banks, and other financial institutions that manage funds or otherwise invest for claimants should act as quickly as possible to submit all required transaction information directly to the Claims Administrator.

We understand that claimants may need help to ensure that they are submitting all of the correct documentation. For this reason, claimants are reminded and encouraged to direct any and all questions regarding the process or individual claims to the Claims Administrator in the United States by email at or by telephone to the international call center toll-free at 001-800-1020-4060 or at 001-941-906-4864. The best time for Dutch claimants to call is between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. CET. The Claims Administrator is prepared to answer your questions in English or in Dutch.

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Contact details: Andrex Entwistle, +1-212-894-7200