Lagardère Services-owned LS travel retail is to buy 100% of Charles F. Gerzon Holding – the long established Schiphol Airport fashion retailer.
In what appears to be a friendly and mutually agreed acquisition, LS travel retail management says the move will strengthen its expertise in fashion travel retail and consolidate its “number one position”.
While the acquisition remains subject to necessary approvals (works council consultation), LS travel retail says it is acquiring “a very professional and highly respected family business” (established 1971) comprising 12 mono and multibrand stores over 2,400sq m and generating sales of €54m ($73.3m) in 2012.
LSTR adds that Gerzon also benefits from a strong and good long-term relationship with Schiphol Airport, where Gerzon Holding’s portfolio includes many well-known brands such as Hugo Boss, Longchamp, Burberry, Hermès, Ralph Lauren, Ermenegildo Zegna and several other ‘’ready to wear’’, medium to high-end fashion and accessories brands, including Victoria’s Secret.
GERZON FASHION SEEN AS A GOOD FIT
LSTR says it will consolidate its strong position within Europe by entering Schiphol Airport, which it points to as “a major entry hub” for Asian consumers into Europe. This also fits well with its acquisition of the Paris Airports fashion business in 2011 and the real jewel – the Rome Airports’ duty free operation in 2012.
The company added that subject to the successful closure of this acquisition in early January 2014 and with a multiple valuation below eight times EBITDA, this acquisition prove margin positive.
Commenting on the proposed acquisition, Dag Rasmussen, CEO of Lagardère Services said: “I am very glad to welcome into our Group Gerzon’s team and management, whose undisputed competences are widely recognized.
“Such an expertise will participate in strengthening our business practices in the mid and premium fashion ranges, as well as in the promotional programmes. I’m very confident in our potential development, considering Schiphol Airport’s great ambitions, in terms not only of traffic and sales development, but also of high quality of service.’’
The highly respected Philip Gerzon.
PHILIP GERZON WELCOMES LAGARDÈRE
Adding his comments as he prepares to sell, Philip Gerzon, CEO of Gerzon Holding said: “After careful market screening, I am confident that Lagardère Services will be a great long-term partner to Schiphol Airport as well as to my team, with a strong cultural fit and several commercial synergies.
“Lagardère Services has a solid reputation in the fashion travel retail, both in Europe and Asia Pacific and will bring its expertise in the luxury segment and with affluent BRIC’s travellers. The quality of its operations as well as its decentralized organization will match the values of Gerzon Company and I am proud to leave my team in good hands.’’
Otto Ambagtsheer, Managing Director Business Area Consumer Products & Services at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol added: “Over the last 40 years, Gerzon has significantly contributed to the development of the fashion, leather goods and travel accessories activities at Schiphol”.
He continued: “We enjoyed an intensive and excellent collaboration [with Gerzon] and welcome our new business partner Lagardère Services at Schiphol. We are fully confident that, thanks to their broad experience and innovative strength, the quality of the fashion retail activities at Schiphol will be guaranteed.”