Flemingo International Ltd BVI has today (8 October 2019) signed an investment with state-owned Polish Airports State Enterprise (PPL) to sell its 80.68% shareholding in Baltona Duty Free.
As first reported by TRBusiness, PPL obtained initial approval from its board of directors ahead of the finalisation of the transaction. This was after Flemingo International Limited signed a letter of intent regarding the purchase in June 2019.
Flemingo has been the majority shareholder in Baltona Duty Free — which is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange — since 2010.
Under the terms of the agreement, Flemingo will subscribe to a public tender, which will be launched by PPL in the coming days. The aim of the tender is to acquire 100% of shares in Baltona.
VITAL GENERATION OF FUNDS
At the same time, PPL will buy two bond series issued by Baltona that will provide funds for day-to-day operations, growth initiatives and the refinancing of Baltona’s current banking facilities. Bond programmes were organised through PKO Bank Polski.
The Investment Agreement and public tender are subject to approval from the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.
Carlo Bernasconi, Flemingo Member of the Board and CEO Region Europe said: “We are very pleased to have signed this Investment Agreement with PPL, one of the top aviation infrastructure companies in Poland and owner of the largest airport at which Baltona operates.
“I am convinced that PPL, under the leadership of its CEO, Mariusz Szpikowski, will be able to further develop and drive Baltona’s growth story, that was demonstrated through recent impressive contract wins in Tallinn, Wroclaw and most importantlky, successful negotiations of the Warsaw contracts.
Together with PPL’s in-depth commercial airport knowledge and backed-up with a strong capital base, Baltona will undoubtedly become the undisputed travel retail leader within Poland and I am happy to see our experienced Baltona management team join hands with the PPL Management and Supervisory Board.”
Szpikowski commented: “The transaction with Flemingo is beneficial to us for economic reasons and security-wise for the airport. PPL capital group would regain more control over security in the restricted areas, which would convert into increased passenger security at ports.
“A huge added value would also be the creation of a strong entity that would be able to compete on the duty-free market.”
Flemingo operates in 29 countries across four continents with business at airports in emerging markets. It also has a strong presence in India, as well as the cruise industry through its 100% subsidiary Harding Retail. Additionally, Flemingo is part of the inflight duty free market through its Turkish subsidiary Iris Ekspress.
A leading duty free operator at Polish regional airports, general stores and food and beverage outlets in Poland and abroad, Baltona Duty Free has been present on the market for more than 70 years. Its retail and catering businesses are located in Poland, Estonia, Romania, France, Italy and Ukraine.
PPL is a leading company in the PPL Business Group and holds stocks and/or shares in 14 airport operating companies. It owns specialist companies providing passenger service, freight and aircraft handling at Polish airports.