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EMS to divest duty free business

Published 20 March 2009

Norway-based shipping company Eitzen Maritime Services is planning to sell its duty free operations as part of its divestiture program for non-core activities, in a bid to focus on its core businesses.

Eitzen Maritime (EMS) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the France-based Aelia Group, pursuant to which Aelia will acquires EMS's duty free operations currently serving the Mediterranean cruise industry. Aelia, a subsidiary of Lagardere Services, is an operator of duty free stores in European airports. Furthermore, EMS will continue to provide logistics services to the duty free operations acquired by Aelia. The parties are expected to sign a sales-and-purchase agreement within the next four weeks. Closing is expected within the end of the second quarter of 2009 at the latest. Duty free products for the Mediterranean cruise fleet became part of EMS's portfolio through the acquisition of Spanish ship supply company Provimar in 2007. Annual revenue from duty free products is approximately E7.1 million, representing approximately 2% of EMS's 2008 sales. The company's duty free activities are operated out of Barcelona, Mallorca, Valencia and Dubrovnic.