Lagardère completes acquisition of Belgian retailer International Duty Free

By Andrew Pentol |

International-Duty-Free

International Duty Free operates more than 30 stores, including 25 duty free, fashion and confectionery points of sale at Brussels Airport.

Lagardère Travel Retail has completed the acquisition of leading Belgian travel retailer International Duty Free (IDF).

The acquisition, announced on 26 July 2019 brings the company’s annual revenue to €5.31bn ($6.7bn). This figure is based on 100% of 2018 revenue, including the pro forma contribution of Hojeij Branded Foods on a full-year basis. This would translate into consolidated pro forma revenue of €4.1bn.

According to Lagardère, the acquisition enables the company to extend its presence to an additional leading European hub such as Brussels, which has ‘high-quality’ operations. The agreement also consolidates its positions in Luxembourg and Africa with entry into Kenya.

Lagardère Travel Retail will be able to leverage IDF’s experience in the Belgian premium chocolate segment to strengthen operations in this market at international level.

CULTURAL ALIGNMENT

A Lagardère statement read: “The close affinity between IDF and Lagardère Travel Retail in terms of culture and strategy will help to ensure a successful integration, led by Nicolas Van Brandt as CEO. The companies’ combined operating and sales expertise will help boost sales and unlock recurring operating synergies.”

IDF is expected to generate revenue of between €185m and €190m in 2019. The company will be consolidated in Lagardère’s financial statements, effective 1 October 2019.

The acquisition has been valued at €250m (enterprise value based on zero cash and debt) or around eight-times IDF’s pro forma EBITDA, factoring in €7m in recurring synergies expected to be unlocked through to 2022.

IDF-Nairobi

The acquisition of IDF enables Lagardère Travel Retail to enter the Kenyan market, where the Belgian operator runs a store in Nairobi.

It is expected to deliver solid cash generation and be accretive to Lagardère Travel Retail’s recurring EBIT, as well as extending the average life of the Group’s concession agreements.

The retailer added: “This value-creating transaction is an important step in Lagardère Travel Retail’s global growth strategy, marking its entry into the duty free space in a further two countries, including Belgium, where it will benefit from a long-standing leadership position and long-term concessions in both the country’s main airports.”

Speaking separately to TRBusiness, Dag Rasmussen, Chairman and CEO, Lagardère Travel Retail told TRBusiness: “I am very satisfied about the whole acquisition. I have known the company many years and known Nicolas and the shareholders for a long while. It is a company which is very well run, optimised and intent on looking at every possible way to work the business.”

He added: “We are impressed by the way they work. Aside the quality of the relationship they have with the airport which is extremely important to us, it is a very positive environment.”

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