Aelia looks at buying Nuance out in Paris

By Doug Newhouse |

French travel retail giant Aelia is exploring the possible buy out of The Nuance Group’s 50% shareholding in Duty Free Paris, the joint-venture fashion company that currently operates retail outlets at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly airports and which is owned by Aéroports de Paris and The Nuance Group.

According to a statement from ADP/Nuance, the joint venture has entered an exclusive two-month discussion period with Aelia to see if a mutually agreeable deal can be reached.

The nature of the talks seemingly suggests that if the right deal can be reached, then Nuance would be happy to exit this business.

Aelia and ADP already operate within Société de Distribution Aéroportuaire (SDA), a joint venture covering liquor, tobacco, perfume and cosmetics and gourmet food at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. Revenues at SDA and Duty Free Paris (ADP/Nuance) grew by 11.7% and 111.4% respectively in 2010, although DFP is a much, much smaller business that has only been running for a few years. 

The possibility that Aelia could take over Nuance’s 50% share in DFP was underpinned by last month’s announcement that Aéroports de Paris (ADP) and Lagardère Services have extended their partnership within Société de Distribution Aéroportuaire until October 31, 2019.

The fact that ADP is prepared to work next to Aelia on the fashion side – should any agreement be reached – in addition to the other categories already under SDA is obviously an indication of the level of confidence it has in the retailer. 

Between them, ADP and Aelia under the SDA umbrella operated a network of 121 shops in Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports last year, generating a sales turnover of E.486m ($672m).



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