Swiss travel retailer Dufry said it was buying the 49 percent stake in Hellenic Duty Free it does not already own from Greek rival Folli Follie for 328 million euros ($452 million), a vote of confidence in the austerity-hit economy.
As reported, Dufry completed the acqusition of 51% of Hellenic Duty Free, Greece’s leading travel retailer, on 22 April.
Dufry said that the transaction will enable it to achieve additional synergies by further streamlining logistics and purchasing. The company will also refurbish and expand retail space in key Greek airports, including Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes and Crete.
Dufry CEO Julián Díaz said: “This announcement could not have been a better milestone to complete the year of 2013, which was full of important achievements for the Group.
“The acquisition of the remaining 49% of Hellenic Duty Free allows us to achieve further synergies on the operational level and generates financing savings of approximately CHF10 million (US$11.27 million) per annum. With Folli Follie Group joining as a long-term shareholder of Dufry, we further strengthen our core shareholder base.”
Folli Follie intends to join the group of shareholders led by Travel Retail Investments SCA. The Board of Directors of Dufry has also agreed to nominate George Koutsolioutsos for election to the Board at the 2014 Annual General Meeting.