THE WHAT? Duty-free retailer Dufry has agreed to acquire Italian airport and motorway caterer Autogrill, with Italy’s Benetton family, Autogrill’s largest investor, transferring its 50.3 percent stake to Dufry, according to Reuters.
THE DETAILS Dufry will offer to buy out minority shareholders, with Benetton’s holding company Edizone becoming the combined group’s biggest shareholder with a 20-25 percent stake.
Dufry CEO Xavier Rossinyol will head up the combined group, with Chairman Juan Carlos Torres maintaining his role with the new company.
The two companies had a total market capitalisation of US$5.5 billion last week, with the deal expected to close in Q2 2023. The company will be given a new name.
THE WHY? Speaking in a joint statement, Torres said, “The combination of the two groups will create a new leader in travel experience and allow us to significantly increase our presence in core markets, such as the U.S., and in the travel food and beverage sector.
“This transaction will strengthen our balance sheet, reduce our leverage and create meaningful synergies.”