ZAANDAM, Netherlands (Bloomberg) -- Royal Ahold NV, parent of Tops Markets Inc., said it has set up a 50-50 joint venture with China's Venturetech Investment Corp. to start a supermarket chain in Shanghai.
The company, named Shanghai Ahold-Zhonghui Supermarket Co. Ltd., will invest about $50 million in the coming years to build a chain of markets.
With growth slowing in Europe and North America, Ahold has focused on Asia -- where it hopes to generate 10 percent of sales in ten years.
So far, Ahold has established partnerships in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
Ahold said the company will begin with 15 supermarkets currently owned by Zhonghui Supermarkets.
Ahold will start converting those supermarkets to the Tops formula it plans to use across Asia.
CVIC is jointly owned by the Chinese State Science and Technology Commission and the Finance Ministry. The company owns more than 30 supermarkets in China.
Shanghai Ahold-Zhonghui Supermarket employs about 600 people.