Ahold has made an offer for a clutch of stores from bankrupt New York grocer Big V to boost its presence on the east coast of the US. Ahold said Big V's creditors have signed a letter of intent that would allow its US subsidiary Stop & Shop to acquire 27 Big V stores under the Shoprite fascia for $255m. The deal is subject to approval from regulators and the bankruptcy court. Ahold has been mopping up supermarket chains on the eastern seaboard, recently moving further west with the purchase of Alabama based Bruno's supermarkets. Stop & Shop operates 321 stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Meanwhile Ahold has rubberstamped its strategic tie-up with Costa Rican supermarket chain CSU to form a joint venture aiming to dominate food retailing in central America. Ahold and La Fragua, its local partner in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, will team up with CSU to link their operations in the region, share best practice and boost their buying power. The embryonic Central American Retail Holding Company operates 253 food stores in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. {{NEWS }}