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Dufry to acquire travel retailer World Duty Free for EUR3.6bn

RBR Staff Writer Published 31 March 2015

Switzerland-based Dufry is planning to acquire World Duty Free (WDF), in a deal that could value the Italian travel retailer at around €3.6bn.

World Duty Free

The company has agreed to acquire 50.1% stake in World Duty Free for €10.25 per share from Edizione, owned by the Benetton family of Italy.

Dufry is planning to raise around €2.1bn in new shares and up to €1.5bn in debts to finance the transaction.

Following completion of the transaction with Edizione, Dufry will launch a mandatory tender offer for the remaining 49.9% shares of World Duty Free for €10.25 per share.

WDF currently has operations in 20 countries through 105 locations with over 500 stores.

Dufry CEO Julian Diaz said: "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.

"This acquisition is a continuation of the global geographic diversification strategy which we have communicated and executed for many years, lastly with the acquisition of Nuance last year. We are preparing a detailed integration plan, focused on implementing the operational initiatives previously communicated by WDF and creating additional value through the integration of WDF and Dufry's existing platforms."

The combined company will have close to 400 locations in 67 countries and will have a market share of around 24% in airport retail globally.

With this deal, Dufry's portfolio will be enhanced with long-term concessions across several major European airports, including the recently extended London Heathrow airport with a large number of emerging market consumers and the Spanish airports which are said to complement Dufry's strong presence in the Mediterranean.

The deal will also bolster Dufry's operations in North and Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.

Image: WDF operates travel retail stores in 20 countries. Photo: courtesy of World Duty Free S.p.A