This relatively short case describes the growth trajectory of Dutch company Ahold - the third largest retailer (predominantly supermarkets) in the world - under the reign of CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Cees van der Hoeven. In the mid-eighties, Ahold started to grow very fast, entering multiple countries and regions, predominantly through acquisitions. Its ambitious growth and growth plans made it one of the top performers in the stock market, while the company and especially Van der Hoeven received many awards such as Retailer of the Year, CEO of the Year, etc. It describes how Ahold set out through a series of carefully selected acquisitions, but gradually the rapid expansion grew out of control until, in 2002 / 2003, the company all but collapsed under allegations of fraud, overstating profit figures etc. The case works well paired with the contrasting case of ‘Heineken: International Growth and Acquisitions' (307-168-1).