Swiss travel retailer Dufry acquires Italian Autogrill

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A duty free shop belonging to the Dufry Group in a departure lounge at Denpassar International Airport in Bali March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/File Photo

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July 11 (Reuters) – Duty-free retailer Dufry (DUFN.S) said on Monday it would acquire Italian airport and motorway caterer Autogrill (AGL.MI), expanding the company’s growth opportunities Switzerland in international markets as travel rebounds.

Italy’s Benetton family – the largest investor in Autogrill through its Edizione holding company – will transfer its entire 50.3% stake to Dufry at an exchange rate of 0.158 new Dufry shares for each Autogrill share, according to Dufry.

Edizione will become Dufry’s largest shareholder with a stake of around 25% to 20%.

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Following the transfer, Dufry will launch a tender offer for the remaining Autogrill shares, under which shareholders would receive 0.158 new Dufry shares for each Autogrill share. Alternatively, Autogrill shareholders will receive a cash component of 6.33 euros ($6.43) per Autogrill share.

Xavier Rossinyol will lead the combined group as chief executive, Dufry said, adding that current Autogrill CEO Gianmario Tondato da Ruos will assume the role of executive chairman of the combined entity’s North American operations.

The companies had confirmed they were in non-exclusive talks in late June. Read more

Basel-based Dufry operates approximately 2,200 stores at airports, cruise liners, seaports and other tourist locations around the world.

Dufry’s organic sales more than doubled in the first quarter of 2022, driven by a strong rebound in travel to Europe as coronavirus curbs were eased. However, sales of organic products were still 40% below pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Autogrill operates bars, cafes and restaurants at 139 international airports, including 80 in North America, as well as on motorways in Europe.

Dufry said the combined company will serve 2.3 billion passengers in more than 75 countries, generating revenue of 13.6 billion Swiss francs ($13.90 billion) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. (EBITDA) of 1.4 billion Swiss francs.

($1 = 0.9843 euros)

($1 = 0.9783 Swiss francs)

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Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Tom Hogue, Rashmi Aich and Amy Caren Daniel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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