Autogrill unveils plan for trio of acquisitions

27 August, 2008
Page 11 
Italian retail and catering giant Autogrill has revealed details of its plans to integrate its recent purchases of three of the world's biggest duty-free and travel-retail operators - Aldeasa, Alpha Retail and World Duty Free (WDF).

The two UK businesses, Alpha Retail and WDF, are to be merged to create a single UK airport retailer with an-nual sales of £565m. It will be led by experienced WDF chief executive Mark Riches.

Alpha will continue to run its many domestic and international in-flight retail and catering contracts.

Alpha's overseas airport contracts, which extend to the US, the Indian subcontinent and Middle East, will be handled by Spanish airport retailer Aldeasa, boosting annual revenues to more than £800m.

Autogrill hopes the integration of the three businesses will garner cost savings of e40m a year by 2011.

A global purchasing team has also been set up as part of the plan, which will be led by Aldeasa Group commercial director Eugenio Andrades, WDF commercial director Jo O'Connor and Alpha Retail international director Martin Petchey.