Dufry’s £1bn purchase of Nuance Group to ‘transform’ travel retail

4th June, 2014 by Becky Paskin

Travel retail operator Dufry AG has bought a 100% interest in fellow retailer Nuance Group AG for CHF1.55 billion (£1.03bn), in a deal described as “transformational” for the travel retail industry.

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Nuance Group’s 300 worldwide travel retail stores will be added to Dufry’s portfolio, making it the largest travel retail operator in the world

Nuance Group, one of the world’s largest travel retail operators, has over 300 outlets across 20 countries and territories in the Americas, Asia, Australia and EMEA.

The entire Nuance portfolio will be added to Dufry’s existing 1,000 stores in 48 countries, making Dufry the leading travel retail operator in the world, with a 15% market share.

Nuance’s geographic presence strengthens Dufry’s positions in strategic key markets in the Mediterranean, North and Central Europe, Asia and the United States and Canada.

Julian Diaz, CEO of Dufry, said: “The acquisition of The Nuance Group by Dufry is a transformational deal not only for Dufry but also for the travel retail industry.

“Dufry has been a key player in the consolidation of the fragmented travel retail industry and we have been delivering significant value through acquisitions,” Diaz added. “We have been consistently delivering synergies and diversified our concession portfolio worldwide step by step, thus avoiding concentration risk for any specific region or location.

“With this transformational transaction, we make another big step forward in this respect and bring our global scope to a new level. Also, the scale and breadth of our business will be changing the scope of the travel retail industry going forward.”

Nuance’s operations will be integrated into Dufry’s business model once the transaction is completed in Q3 2014. Dufry expects the merger’s synergies of CHF 70m to generate in 2015, with the full impact seen in the 2016 financial year.

“We look very much forward to working with our more than 5,000 new colleagues in 19 countries to create an even better company,” Diaz concluded.

In a statement, Nuance Group said: “Dufry AG has entered into a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of The Nuance Group AG. The acquisition will be completed once usual conditions for such transactions will be satisfied. The closing of the transaction is expected to happen in Q3 2014.”

In 2013, Nuance generated a turnover of CHF 2.1 billion and an adjusted EBITDAof CHF 156 million.

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