Jul 11, 2022 - Economy

Duty-free retail giant Dufry agrees to buy Autogrill

Animated illustration of a hand carrying a shopping bag, which then turns into many shopping bags

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Dufry of Switzerland, the world's largest duty-free retailer, agreed to merge with Italy's Autogrill, a travel concessionaire controlled by the Benetton family.

Why it matters: This will be a test of scale and synergy, against the backdrop of a travel industry resurgence.

Details: The Benettons will transfer their 50.3% Autogrill stake to Dufry, in exchange for stock, and then Dufry will launch a mandatory tender offer for remaining Autogrill shares at a €2.44 billion valuation.

  • The tender, which will be offered in either cash or stock, is at a significant discount to where Autogrill shares closed on Friday.

The bottom line: The combined company would have around 5,500 stores, including within 1,200 airports, and expects cost benefits in areas like rent, product purchasing and logistics. But it's unclear how much savings the company will find from the tie-up of airport and non-airport (i.e. highway) assets.

Go deeper