Ahold plans expand its Giant-Carlisle division by buying 25 stores from Ukrop’s Super Markets Inc.

The Amsterdam-based parent company of Ahold USA said in a statement the purchase price is about $140 million and includes inventory, equipment, lease agreements and one new store location of the Richmond, Va.-based chain.

Ukrop's associates also will be retained, according to the statement.

“This acquisition is part of Ahold’s profitable growth strategy,” said John Rishton, Ahold chief executive officer, in a news release. “Ukrop’s is a great company with a strong heritage in an attractive market. We believe that Giant-Carlisle and Ukrop’s will be a strong combination.”

Ahold expects to complete the transaction in the first quarter of 2010.

Ukrop’s addressed the sale in a letter to customers.

It is uncertain whether Ukrop’s stores will be rebranded to the Giant-Carlisle division, which has more than 150 stores in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia under the Giant and Martin’s banners.

Ukrop’s, a privately-held, family business started in 1937, had been considering sale for the past year, according to an article in the Richmond, Va., Times-Dispatch.

James Ukrop, former chairman and chief executive officer of the chain told the Times-Dispatch the family tried to compete outside of its core market with little success.

Two Ukrop’s stores — in Richmond’s West End and in Fredericksburg — are not included in the deal.

Ahold said it plans to offer those employees positions at other locations.

Ahold to buy Ukrop’s