Lagardère to buy International Duty Free for €250m

26th July, 2019 by Owen Bellwood

Travel retail operator Lagardère has agreed to acquire International Duty Free (IDF) in a deal worth €250 million (US$278m).

Lagardere-and-IDF

Lagardère has agreed to acquire International Duty Free

Lagardère says the acquisition will enable the company to “strengthen its leadership position on the travel retail market” by reinvesting proceeds from disposals.

The acquisition of IDF enables Lagardère to extend its presence in Brussels and will also help the group strengthen its position in Luxembourg and Africa.

Dag Rasmussen, chairman and chief executive officer of Lagardère Travel Retail, said: “The acquisition has cemented our position as the world’s third-largest operator of duty free airport points of sale and as the European leader in travel retail.

“We’re delighted to be entering both the Belgian and Kenyan markets, which offer wonderful development opportunities, and at the same time stepping up our operations in Luxembourg. Above all, we are confident that IDF’s operational expertise and entrepreneurial mindset will ensure its successful integration into Lagardère Travel Retail and contribute to the achievement of our strategic objectives.”

IDF is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille (CNP) and since its creation in 1958 has been the operator of Belgian Sky Shops, the first tax-free store at Brussels airport.

The travel retailer currently operates more than 30 boutiques, including 25 duty free, fashion and confectionery points of sale at Brussels airport, two duty free stores at Charleroi airport in Belgium and The Belgian Chocolate House. It also operates a boutique in Kenya.

Xavier Le Clef, managing director of CNP and chairman of IDF, commented: “IDF is special to us at CNP because we have supported its development since 1991. We’re now passing the baton to Lagardère Travel Retail, convinced that they will be a great partner in maintaining IDF’s growth over the long term, while preserving its unique DNA as well as its strong commitment to its employees and partners.

“I’d like to thank the IDF teams wholeheartedly for their amazing work all these years as they built the company up to occupy the leadership position it now enjoys in the travel retail market.”

To facilitate the acquisition and the integration of IDF, the company’s management team will remain in position.

The transaction is expected to be finalised during the fourth quarter of 2019.

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