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World Duty Free spins out from Autogrill

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.”