Singaporeans fund global duty free giant bid

Two state-owned Singapore companies will invest nearly US$1 billion to fund Swiss duty free operator Dufry’s takeover of rival World Duty Free.

The resulting merged company will effectively account for one quarter of the world’s duty free retail industry.

The investors are Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings and sovereign fund GIC. Each will invest up to 450 million Swiss francs (US$466.7 million). The Qatar Investment Authority has made an identical commitment.

World Duty Free operates 495 stores in 98 airports in 19 countries. Dufry will pay €3.6 billion (US$3.9 billion), for the business, including debt.

Already, Dufry has effectively taken control of its target, acquiring a 50.1 per cent stake in the business from its owners, Italy’s Benetton family.

The merged company would have a presence in 67 countries and estimated annual sales of US$9 billion.


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