World Duty Free spins out from Autogrill

Kapila Gohel


WDFG debuted at €7.2 ($9.75)a share on the Borsa Italiana ahead of its forecast of €7($9.47)

Travel-retail and duty-free business World Duty Free Group (WDFG) has officially split from parent company Autogrill SpA on October 1 as its shares went live on the Italian stock exchange.

WDFG debuted at €7.2 ($9.75) a share on the Borsa Italiana ahead of its forecast of €7 ($9.47) a share. The newly-listed company is now set to for organic growth as well as growth via acquisitions, chief executive officer Jose Maria Palencia announced. WDFG will now look to expand into the Middle East, the US and South America and Asia/Pacific.

WDFG recently appointed David Jiménez-Blanco as group chief financial officer, who has extensive experience in the financial sector particularly in key merger and acquisition transactions.

Palencia said at the time of his appointment: “The near future of the corporation as a listed company and its international expansion makes financial and treasury requirements a key consideration for our strategic business plan; this is why we wanted to incorporate a figure with the specific seniority of [David] Jiménez-Blanco into the management team.

“His extensive experience and deep knowledge of international financial markets will be a major asset to the company and will help to consolidate and expand the path of expansion and profitability that World Duty Free Group has managed to achieve in recent years.”

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(25-Sep-2013) - Under the demerger, the World Duty Free Group SAU travel-retail and duty-free business held by Autogrill will be assigned to WDF S.p.A
(1-Oct-2013) - Autogrill SpA and World Duty Free SpA (WDF) announced their demerger on September 26, which was marked by the approval of WDF’s listing on the Italian stock exchange.
(6-Jun-2013) - Plans to split the food and beverage and travel-retail/duty-free businesses have been approved by shareholders
(9-Oct-2012) - The agreement will add 240 outlets in 32 US airports to WDFG’s retail portfolio in North America
(3-Jun-2013) - Credit facility to repay loans available to World Duty Free Group SAU and to meet business operating requirements