Control of Italy’s World Duty Free SpA has passed to Switzerland’s Dufry AG.
Edizione srl, the parent holding company of the Benetton family, on Saturday sold its 50.1 percent stake in the airport mega-retailer to its Swiss competitor for a sum of 1.3 billion euros, or $1.4 billion at current exchange.
Dufry paid 10.25 euros, or $11.16, per share for its majority stake.
Following the acquisition, Dufry, which is listed on the Zurich Stock Exchange and is already the biggest company in its sector with 1,900 stores in 217 international airports, is adding World Duty Free’s 495 points of sale to its retail business.
World Duty Free, which is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, split from Autogrill, a company controlled by Edizione, in June 2013, and had sought new investment partners since late in 2014.
According to a statement released by Edizione, “the integration with Dufry is strategically aimed at creating an international leader in the airport travel retail business.” Dufry, it said, will have to increase its capital “to partially finance the acquisition.”