Dufry to acquire World Duty Free for €1.3bnBy Melita Kiely
Swiss company Dufry has secured a deal to acquire a 50.1% stake in Italian airport retailer World Duty Free for €1.3 billion, making it the world’s largest travel retailer.
World Duty Free manages 495 stores in 98 airports, while Dufry operates 1,650 stores in more than 60 countries employing approximately 20,000 workers.
Announced on Saturday, Edizione, the holding company owned by the Benetton family that controls World Duty Free, agreed to sell its majority stake to Dufry for €10.25 per share valuing the entire enterprise at approximately €3.6bn.
The purchase is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015, giving Dufry a 24% travel retail market share and projected annual sales of €8.3 billion.
Dufry believes the acquisition will create a series of “new growth opportunities” and “further develop our global offering”.
“The acquisition of WDF is a truly unique and highly transformational transaction for Dufry and is equally a milestone for the travel retail industry overall,” commented Julian Diaz, CEO of Dufry. “WDF’s business is highly complementary to our existing footprint and will reinforce our leading position in the Mediterranean, the Americas as well as the Middle East and Asia.
“The transaction will transform Dufry into an even more distinct global business with a balanced exposure to developed and emerging markets.
“Dufry has great respect for the achievements of WDF and we look forward to working with our more than 9,500 new colleagues in 20 countries and across more than 100 locations.
“Ultimately what we want to achieve is to develop a better company for our employees, customers, suppliers and landlords and a more valuable asset for our shareholders.”
In 2014, Dufry reported a record turnover of US$4.3bn while World Duty Free recorded turnover of US$2.6bn.
The acquisition of World Duty Free is Dutry’s second big purchase in less than a year, after it bought Nuance Group for US$1.7bn in June 2014.