Dufry to buy 51 pct stake in Folli-Follie Greek travel retail unit

Dufry AG, the operator of Hudson News stores in airports, agreed to buy a 51 percent stake in Folli-Follie Group?s travel retail business to expand in the Mediterranean tourism market.

Dufry will pay 200.5 million euros ($258 million) for the stake, which it will finance by selling about 250 million euros of shares, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. The purchase is expected to provide a ?mid- single-digit? boost to earnings-per-share next year.

Folli-Follie?s travel retail business operates 111 shops in Greece with more than 18,000 square meters of retail space, according to the statement. Dufry said Sept. 24 it was in ?advanced talks? to buy a 51 percent stake in the unit. The purchase is expected to close ?early next year.?

?It represents another big step forward in our strategy to consolidate the fragmented travel retail industry with focus on tourist destinations and emerging markets,? Julian Diaz, Dufry?s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The Folli-Follie unit will enter a local non-recourse bank facility of 335 million euros, according to the statement. Dufry said it will also have ?shareholder structuring? costs of 28 million euros.

Dufry has an option to acquire the other 49 percent of the unit in four years.


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